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Politics

  • 25th January 2007

    Greens attack Catholic adoption “opt-out” in Scotland 1

    The Scottish Parliament has legal powers over adoption, but not equality legislation.

    5:47 PM — The Scottish Green Party has spoken out against Labour and the Scottish National Party over rumours of an opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies in the country.On the day that the London press is reporting a defeat for the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the two largest parties in Scotland appear to be supporting the denial of gay and lesbian couples in Scotland to equal treatment by Catholic adoption agencies.

  • John Reid says gay rights a matter of principle 1

    Senior Roman Catholic figures had threatened to close adoption agencies rather than allow gay or lesbian couples to be considered.

    5:20 PM — The Home Secretary has told a Westminster audience that the fundamental principle of equality must not be undermined.Reid, a Roman Catholic, is considered one of the only members of the Cabinet who could mount a serious challenge to Gordon Brown in the contest for Labour party leader, due to take place after Tony Blair leaves office later this year.

  • COMMENT: Archbishops suffer from flawed reasoning 6

    Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and John Sentamu, Archbishop of York,  wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister in support of Murphy-O'Connor's threat.

    3:54 PM — The Prime Minister announced today that, despite press reports to the contrary, he is still thinking about whether or not to grant Roman Catholic adoption agencies an exemption from legislation to protect gay people from discrimination.Perhaps he, like commentator Nicolas Chinardet, is trying to unravel the flawed logic of the senior churchmen who have been writing to him this week. 

  • PM – no final decision made about gay adoption

    It has been widely reported this morning that the Prime Minister has caved in to pressure from many Labour MPs and Cabinet ministers

    1:43 PM — An official statement from Downing St says that a final decision has not been made on whether or not Roman Catholic adoption agencies will be allowed to refuse to consider gay or lesbian couples as potential parents.It has been widely reported this morning that the Prime Minister has caved in to pressure from many Labour MPs and Cabinet ministers who argue that granting exemptions to any group betrays the spirit of anti-discrimination legislation.

  • Dick Cheney defends lesbian daughter’s pregnancy 1

    Mr Cheney, who will be 66 at the end of this month, was visibly displeased at the attempt to paint his child as a bad role model.

    12:45 PM — The Vice President of the United States has told CNN that he is delighted about the imminent birth of his sixth grandchild, and told presenter Wolf Blitzer he was out of order for bringing it up.Mr Cheney was piqued that the TV host chose to mention the pregnancy of his younger daughter Mary in the context of criticism from fundamentalist groups who think it is wrong for a lesbian to have a child.

  • Tory website abuzz with opinions on gay adoption

    “'Why are they all so terrified of the homosexual mafia?' - are you referring to gay priests in the Vatican?“ said Alison Anne Smith.

    12:15 PM — While Conservative MPs have been silent on the issue of gay adoption, grassroots members have made their feelings clear on Tory discussion boards.Despite the positive approach towards LGBT people favoured by party leader David Cameron, comments posted on a Tory supporters website demonstrate that many activists disagree with him.Conservativehome.com contains some lively debate on the gay adoption row.

  • Euro survey reveals attitudes to diversity

    Some 73 percent of Italians thought discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was widespread, the highest figure in the EU.

    11:31 AM — A survey carried out across the EU has found that the Italians are the most attuned to homophobia, while Swedes are the quickest in the European Union to embrace the concept of the multi-cultural society.They are also among the least satisfied with efforts to combat discrimination, according to a new Eurobarometer survey.Some 73 percent of Italians thought discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was widespread, the highest figure in the EU.

  • Catholic adoption opt-out ruled out 1

    Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, who is gay, said the compromise, which has Cabinet backing, is a sensible one.

    10:01 AM — Adoption agencies run by the Roman Catholic Church will have to consider gay couples as potential parents or close down, it has emerged.After meeting with MPs and the Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair has bowed to strong criticism from his own party over a suggested exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Catholic providers of adoption services.

  • 24th January 2007

    No 10 website hosts anti gay-rights petition 1

    As reported by PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, another popular petition on the Prime Minister's official site is one calling on him to sack controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    5:24 PM — Gay rights activists have expressed concern that one of the most popular petitions on the Prime Minister's official website is anti-gay.The website hosts a facility for members of the public to create a petition topic and invite others to sign up.One such petition calling on the government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

  • Labour leadership candidate pledges support for gay adoption 1

    The 55-year-old left-wing MP has voted positively in every one of the 14 divisions relating to gay equality held since 1997.

    3:31 PM — John McDonnell, the only Labour MP to have publicly confirmed he will stand for party leader once Tony Blair departs, has criticised the attitude of the Christian churches towards gay adoption.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr McDonnell branded Christian objectors as primitive.He called on his party to stand firm in the face of calls for exemptions for Catholic adoption agencies.

  • US marriage amendment abandoned 1

    The amendment was passed several times in the US Congress, but never came close to gettting the 60% of senators required to move the process forward.

    2:48 PM — Attempts by Colorado Republicans to bring forward an amendment to the United States Constitution banning same-sex marriage will not be repeated in the current Congress.The Pueblo Chieftan newspaper reports that Representative Marilyn Musgrave and Senator Wayne Allard admitted last week that they are not planning any further legislation.

  • Scots Catholics banking on Polish election effect 1

    The elections for the 129-member parliament take place on May 3rd.

    11:29 AM — Catholic leaders in Scotland are hoping the influx of Polish migrants to the country will affect the outcome of the upcoming elections for the country's parliament.Around 40,000 immigrants are now working in Scotland, 90% of them Poles, who are in turn almost all practising Catholics.The elections for the 129-member parliament take place on May 3rd.

  • Blairs blamed for cabinet split over gay rights 5

    Like Ms Kelly, Mrs Blair is a practising Roman Catholic, and the Blair's two eldest sons attended an exclusive Church school.

    10:10 AM — The Independent newspaper is reporting that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie is responsible for the row in cabinet over the delay in the introduction of gay rights legislation.Meanwhile Alan Johnson, who had responsibility for overseeing the Sexual Orientation Regulations while he was Trade and Industry Secretary, is reported to have told MPs that the exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies is being actively supported by the Prime Minister.

  • 23rd January 2007

    CPS hits back at “jail for STI” reports 1

    The CPS statement echoes the call from HIV health charity Terrence Higgins Trust for decisions to prosecute to be consistent.

    10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service has said that reports that more people might be jailed for passing on sexually transmitted infections are inaccurate.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, the service revealed that a policy consultation process with medical and voluntary sector experts has only just finished and that no policy directions have been finalised.

  • Labour MEP-led organisation calls for Kelly resignation 18

    Ruth Kelly should resign say GALHA

    10:22 AM — The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, (GALHA) whose Vice President is the former EastEnders star turned Labour MEP Michael Cashman, has called on the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to resign.Ms Kelly, who is a devout Catholic and a member of Opus Dei, has yet to clarify if she will allow the Catholic Church to opt out of adoption of children by gay couples.

  • Jail for passing on sexually transmitted diseases 1

    THT are concerned that the current prosecutions policy is restigmatising HIV “at a rate of knots.“

    10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service is to target people who knowingly pass on STDs, with some being sent to prison.The new approach is due to be announced by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald soon, reports The Evening Standard. Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed concern about the reported new policy.

  • Charities query proposed Brighton AIDS memorial

    Councillor Paul Elgood, the Mayor of Brighton, with James Ledward at the launch of the planned AIDS memorial.

    10:22 AM — The UK's largest HIV health organisation is questioning plans for a permanent AIDS memorial in Brighton.Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) South says that the community has not been consulted properly and that the £20,000 bill for the memorial - currently being raised by local businesses and customers - could be better spent."There needs to be much greater community discussion," says Perry French from THT South.

  • Catholic leadership “sordid” say Lib Dems

    The only person who seems to be getting even more abuse than the Cardinal is the cabinet minister at the centre of the media storm, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    10:22 AM — The war of words over whether or not the Roman Catholic Church should be allowed to refuse adoption services to gay and lesbian people reached a new fever pitch today.A LibDem MP has called the leadership of the Church sordid and accused them of blackmail.On Sunday it was reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wanted to grant the Church an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • 22nd January 2007

    Human rights group tell Tatchell to back off

    Mr Tatchell concluded that better communication is needed in the international LGBTI movement.

    2:00 PM — Calls last week from gay rights group OutRage! to pile international pressure on the Nigerian government have been blasted as unhelpful and counterproductive by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch.On Friday, Peter Tatchell urged gay and lesbian people to contact the Nigerian goverment to show their opposition to draconian new laws aimed at outlawing same-sex marriage and restricting other gay rights.

  • Eagle speaks out against the “very, very few”

    Ms Eagle refused to comment on reports that there was a row between Prime Minister Tony Blair and MPs at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last Wednesday.

    1:39 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The vice-chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party has said that "very, very few" of the party's MPs want a change to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Angela Eagle, the MP for Wallasey, spoke out after the Independent on Sunday reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to allow adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church to turn away gay or lesbian couples.

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