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Politics

  • 28th September 2007

    Tory leader’s wife spoke up for gays 2

    A close friend of David and Sarah Cameron has revealed that the party leader's wife persuaded her husband to support the abolition of Section 28.

    5:05 PM — An out gay Conservative who is a close friend of David and Sarah Cameron has revealed that the party leader's wife persuaded her husband to support the abolition of Section 28.Speaking to The Guardian Nick Boles, founder of the Policy Exchange thinktank, said that David Cameron's change of heart on gay issues was in part due to Sarah.Referring to Mr Cameron's previous support for Section 28, Mr Boles said: "I think she had a much stronger sense of how unacceptable that piece of legislation was."

  • Harman’s attack on Tories fuels election fever

    Ms Harman's crowd-pleasing closing address did nothing to quell election fever.

    4:15 PM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman attacked Tory attitudes to gay couples in her closing speech to the Labour party conference yesterday.In an address to the party faithful that set the tone for a general election widely tipped to be called next week, she called the Conservatives the "nasty party," a phrase first used by Tory frontbencher Theresa May.Ms Harman attacked the opposition party's plans for a tax system that rewards married couples and civil partners above single or unmarried parents.

  • Candidates OK with gay-themed children’s books 3

    The frontrunners for the Democratic party nomination for President in the 2008 election were speaking at an MSNBC candidates debate.

    1:50 PM — Presidential hopefuls John Edwards and Barack Obama have said they would be happy for their children to read stories featuring same-sex couples.Hillary Clinton was less enthusiastic, calling it a matter for "parental discretion."The frontrunners for the Democratic party nomination for President in the 2008 election were speaking at an MSNBC candidates debate.

  • Trans protection may be dropped from ENDA

    Gay rights groups have reacted with fury at the suggestion that gender identity protections may be dropped.

    1:19 PM — New laws designed to protect LGBT workers in the United States may be watered down because leading Democrats are split over the inclusion of gender identity.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, currently before Congress, would extend federal employment discrimination protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.However, at a meeting on Wednesday of House of Representative Democrats, it became clear that ENDA would not be supported by many of them in its present form.

  • 27th September 2007

    US Senate passes gay hate crimes law

    According to the FBI, sexual orientation bias motivated 14% of hate crimes in 2005.

    6:09 PM — In an historic step toward equality for LGBT Americans, the US Senate voted to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.It updates and expands the federal hate crimes laws to include bias motivated violence based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability, and provides new resources and tools to assist local law enforcement in prosecuting vicious crimes.The Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.

  • General says gays are immoral – again 2

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    5:15 PM — The most senior miltary office in the US Armed Forces has reignited the controversy about his views on gays in the military while giving evidence to a Congressional committee.Challenged by Senator Tom Harkin about his comments on the "immorality" of gay people being a reason for excluding them from miliary service, General Peter Pace reiterated that he thinks the Bible should guide policy."My upbringing tells me that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral."

  • Clinton fundraising catches up with Obama’s

    Clinton is a front runner in the majority of key states races.

    4:50 PM — They may both support civil unions and not gay marriage, but one thing Senator Hillary Clinton and her rival for the democratic nomination, Barack Obama, don't have in common is money.Until now, he's had more, but a new report suggests that's all about to change.According to a report by Bloomberg, both Clinton and Obama are expected to bring in $20 million in campaign donations during the third quarter.

  • New equality commission begins work on Monday

    The new commission will report to Harriet Harman.

    12:40 PM — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), Britain's first new full spectrum equalities and human rights organisation, will open its doors next week.The existing commissions - Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission - will handover their responsibilities to the CEHR, which is chaired by Trevor Phillips.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill is a Commissioner of the new body.

  • Boris wins nomination in a landslide 3

    Despite the vote being opened up to all of London's registered voters, less than 20,000 people voted.

    11:25 AM — Boris Johnson has won the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London with 79% of the vote, it has been announced.The Henley MP, seen as the front runner since he announced his candidacy in July, will now face incumbent Ken Livingstone in the May 2008 election.The three other Tory hopefuls did not manage to get more than 10% of the vote each. IT consultant and publisher Andrew Boff, who is openly gay, polled 8.4%.

  • Civil unions not as good as marriage claim activists

    Some of the night's most compelling evidence, however, came from Jodi Weiner, a New Jersey resident.

    11:15 AM — Last night, during the first public hearing of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, Garden State Equality presented evidence it believed shows "the failure of New Jersey's civil union law to provide equality as real marriage would."Thirty civil-unioned couples from across the state presented a joint letter to state leaders at the hearing.The couples were chosen to represent more than 300 couples who have complained to Garden State Equality.

  • Republicans “betrayed” by mayor’s gay marriage u-turn

    Sanders has been mum on the subject ever since last week's press conference.

    11:05 AM — An editorial in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times congratulated San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for showing "impressive courage last week when he embraced the right of same-sex couples to marry."Gay rights groups were similarly effusive in their praise of the Republican ex-cop who sent shockwaves through the city and nation when he signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California's gay marriage ban.

  • 26th September 2007

    Harman: Equality is at the heart of Labour

    “Barbara (Follett, minister for equality) and I will pledge to be every bit as much champions of all strands of equality. “

    5:45 PM — The Prime Minister made a ten-minute appearance at an event organised by Stonewall last night.It was the first time that Gordon Brown had mixed and mingled with so many LGBT activists from his own party, and he seemed relaxed during his time at the function.Absolutely Equal, supported by Barclays, was a joint event between Stonewall, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Rights on Age.

  • Ministers answer gay questions at Stonewall event 2

    Ms Eagle is the only openly lesbian MP and was appointed as a junior Treasury minister by Gordon Brown in June.

    4:50 PM — The recently-appointed minister for equality and two leading gay Labour politicians faced questions from their own party activists at a conference fringe event last night.The panel discussion, entitled Equality for the next decade, was organised by the LGBT Labour group and gay equality organisation Stonewall.Chaired by out gay MEP Michael Cashman, equality minister Barbara Follett, Labour LGBT co-chair Alon Or-bach and Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill were joined by Angela Eagle.

  • US hate crimes law faces key vote in Senate 7

    Veteran Senator Ted Kennedy, who sponsored the bill, spoke on the floor of the Senate yesterday and urged his fellow legislators to support it.

    1:25 PM — Attempts by Republican Senator and Presidential hopeful John McCain to block new legislation that would extent hate crimes to cover LGBT people will come to a head tomorrow with a crucial vote.Democratic Senator Harry Reid has filed a cloture motion on the hate crimes bill, a procedural move to overcome Senator McCain's objection to bringing the amendment to the floor.60 Senators will need to vote in favour of the cloture motion for passages of the hate crimes bill to be added as an amendment to the Department of Defence (DoD) authorisation bill.

  • Ahmadinejad’s gay comments lost in translation 1

    The Persian transcript has excised both the question about treatment of lesbians and gay men in Iran and President Ahmadinejad's response.

    12:54 PM — The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has discovered that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's official website does not provide a Persian version of his recent comments on homosexuality in the country.The site provides a full and complete transcript of his speech to students at Colombia University in New York and the question and answer session afterwards in which he claimed that there are no gay people in Iran and homosexuality does not exist in the country.

  • Russian activists fined over blood demonstration

    Russia prevents gay men from donating much needed blood as they are considered to be most at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

    12:25 PM — Six gay rights protesters have been convicted of public order offences and fined by a Moscow court for protesting against Russia's ban on gay men donating blood.Activist Alexei Davydov, who organised the picket outside the Russian Health Ministry on 14th September, was fined 1,000 roubles (£20) while five other arrested participants were each fined 500 roubles.Although all donations are screened, Russia prevents gay men from donating much needed blood.

  • Politician defends son accused of homophobia

    Mr English has responded by calling the article a “disgusting and sick attack,“ according to the New Zealand Herald.

    12:04 PM — A leading New Zealand official is fighting back after a gay website published a story about his son earlier this week.The article, which appeared yesterday on GayNZ.com, alleges the son of New Zealand National Party deputy leader Bill English has been posting homophobic comments to a popular social networking website over the past few months.A sample comment from the site, made in reference to a recent soccer match, mentioned in the GayNZ.com article: "Some college fags are gonna to get stabbed with katanas."

  • US Presidential hopeful reveals AIDS plan

    Mr Edwards' proposal came during an appearance at the Families USA/Kaiser Foundation Health Care Forum on Monday in Washington.

    11:55 AM — Senator Hillary Clinton may be leading the Democratic Party for the Presidential candidacy, but John Edwards is not ready to give up the fight.This week, the former Vice Presidential candidate unveiled a health care package which would help fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and stated he would enforce legislation that would take away health care for the President and Congress members unless a universal health care plan was enacted.

  • 25th September 2007

    Exclusive: Gordon Brown attends gay equality event 4

    He partied at the Absolutely Equal fringe party being hosted by the gay rights charity Stonewall and Barclays at the Labour party conference.

    10:01 PM — The Prime Minister has attended an gay-sponsored event for the first time, PinkNews.co.uk can reveal.Gordon Brown partied at the Absolutely Equal fringe party being hosted by the gay rights charity Stonewall and Barclays at the Labour party conference in Bournemouth minutes ago.Absolutely Equal, supported by Barclays, was a joint event between Stonewall, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Rights on Age.

  • Exclusive: Gordon Brown parties at gay disco 3

    Mr Brown was accompanied by the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (and Equality Secretary), Harriet Harman and the Minister for Equality Barbara Follett.

    9:10 PM — The Prime Minister Gordon Brown is about to address an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) event for the first time, PinkNews.co.uk has been told.He is due to speak at the Absolutely Disco fridge party being hosted by the gay rights charity Stonewall at the Labour party conference in Bournemouth.At the event he will talk about his commitment to gay rights.

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