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Politics

  • 22nd May 2007

    Homophobic bullying not an issue for MEPs 57

    The declaration called for member states to support their gay communities.

    5:05 PM — Only 239 out of 785 members of the European Parliament have signed a declaration against homophobic bullying.Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, a member of the European Parliament's intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, said:"While this result clearly signifies that combating homophobic bullying is more than a marginal issue for MEPs, we must work harder to make a majority understand the degree of misery and exclusion it can cause."

  • Lithuanians protest against diversity 2

    This is the latest of many homophobic incidents in Lithuania in the past few months.

    3:28 PM — Anti-gay feeling has reached new heights in Lithuania after a Swedish ambassador called for tolerance towards LGBT people.Ambassador Malin Karre delivered a speech to the Lithuanian Parliament on Wednesday May 16th to commemorate the International Day of Fighting Homophobia.She told the Lithuanian parliament that the Swedish government was "opposed to any goals to trample human rights, including the rights of people with non-traditional sexual orientation."

  • Republican presidential candidates want gay marriage ban 57

    Outsider Sam Brownback wants to ban gay marriage across America

    1:29 PM — Republican presidential candidates Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee have both announced their support for a ban on gay marriage across America.Speaking at a Florida Family Policy Council dinner on Saturday night, the outsiders stuck to a strong message on family values.Kansas Senator Brownback said: "You need to redefine the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman. It's critical."

  • Euro MPs speak up for Moscow Pride 4

    Last week Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. released a statement on their official website announcing they want to attend Moscow Pride.

    12:57 PM — Members of the European Parliament have written to the Mayor of Moscow urging him to respect human rights and allow a gay Pride parade this weekend to go ahead.Marco Cappato, an Italian MEP and Dutch parliamentarian Sophie In't Veld's open letter to Yuri Luzhkov asks him to authorise Sunday's "March in support for tolerance and respect for the rights and freedoms of homosexual people in Russia."Organisers of the Pride event in Moscow have applied to the city for permission to march.

  • 21st May 2007

    Opposition parties differ on homophobic incitement law 2

    A law protecting LGBT people similar to the Racial and Religious Hatred Act is a key campaigning aim of gay equality organisation Stonewall.

    5:39 PM — The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have responded to the discussion of an offence of homophobic incitement.Candidates for the Deputy Leader of the Labour party have given their support to such a law.Peter Hain, Harriet Harman and Alan Johnson all backed calls for a new law to outlaw anti-gay hatred. Hazel Blears said it was one way forward alongside other measures such as better support for victims.

  • Interview: Peter Hain sets out his stall

    Mr Hain himself greets me in a suitably grand office, as befits his status of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales.

    3:00 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusiveWith the "battle" for the leadership of the Labour party over before it even started, all eyes are now on the deputy role. A lack of choice is hardly an issue in this race, with six MPs jockeying to fill John Prescott's shoes.Tony Grew met with contender Peter Hain to discuss gay rights in the UK and in Europe and to find out why the former anti-apartheid campaigner believes he is the best person to become deputy leader of a party desperate for a fourth term of office.

  • Homophobic poster campaign fails to swing Swiss voters

    The referendum result means same-sex couples will be exempt from inheritance tax if when one of them dies.

    1:47 PM — An overwhelming majority of voters in Geneva have voted in favour of granting gay and lesbian couples equal inheritance rights and other benefits.In a referendum yesterday 83% voted in favour of the changes, which were supported by all political parties except the Swiss People's Party (UDC).The right-wing party caused outrage earlier this month with advertising posters opposing the changes calling gay couples infertile.

  • Deputy leadership candidates support gay hate law 2

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall welcomed the support for a new law on homophobic incitement.

    1:12 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales, has said he would personally support new legislation outlawing incitement to homophobia.In an interview with PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Hain said that the government must make sure there are no hate crimes against any group in the UK.In January Home Office minister Tony McNulty vowed to review homophobic incitement laws.

  • Gay Poles march with Pride in Warsaw

    Gay activists and others carried rainbow flags and placards condemning homophobia on their march.

    11:51 AM — Despite the hostile attitude of the Polish government towards the LGBT community, thousands took to the streets in Saturday for an Equality march.Organisers estimate about 20,000 people took part."This was the largest parade we've held in Poland," parade organizer Tomasz Baczkowski said."Polish society has opened its eyes and they know what democracy, equality and diversity mean."

  • Rights groups condemn Iran’s campaign against ‘immorality’

    On April 14th, Iran's Supreme Court overturned murder sentences against six basiji who had killed five people in 2002 whom they considered “morally corrupt.“

    11:01 AM — Iran's arbitrary arrests of thousands of men and women in recent weeks under the banner of "countering immoral behaviour" threaten basic rights to privacy, says Human Rights Watch.They have called for the immediate release of all those detained as part of this campaign, including more than 80 people seized in a raid on a private gathering in the city of Esfahan on May 10th, 2007.

  • 18th May 2007

    Downing St defends ban on gay blood 6

    The ban on gay and bisexual men has been removed in many countries, among them Italy, Sweden, South Africa, Portugal and Spain.

    6:01 PM — A statement on the Prime Minister's website claims some gay men flout blood donation guidelines and reveals that 40 donations a year are infected with HIV.A petition on the site calls for an end to discrimination against gay and bisexual men by the National Blood Service.HIV is now at its fast growing rate in the heterosexual community but the NBS regard all men who have sex with men as too high-risk to accept blood from.

  • Americans support LGBT hate crimes law 7

    69% of independents and 75% of Democrats said they supported the hate-crimes bill.

    3:55 PM — A poll conducted this month has found that nearly 70% of Americans are in favour of new legislation to extend hate crimes to cover LGBT people.Support for the new protections extends across religious and political groups. 60% of Republicans and 64% of regular church goers supported the proposed new law.The new law will extend protections on the grounds of race or religion extended to cover LGBT people.

  • Warsaw allows gay Pride march

    A gay Pride event was permitted by the city authorities last year.

    3:30 PM — The Mayor of Warsaw has rejected calls from the youth wing of a government party to ban a gay Pride parade in the city tomorrow.The Catholic Youth Movement, who are affiliated with the Polish League of Families, had demanded that she stop the gay event, claiming it posed a threat to morality.Hanna Gronkiewicz Walz told Polish radio that any ban would contradict the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Youth demo against homophobia at Polish embassy

    Young activists including young gay Polish people who now live in Britain and activists from Scotland took part.

    1:17 PM — Young human rights activists including many Poles staged a demo outside the Polish embassy as part of yesterday's International Day Against Homophobia.The demonstration, organised by the British Youth Council (BYC) was well attended with organisers saying that at least 70 people came for the two hour event.Young activists including young gay Polish people who now live in Britain and activists from Scotland took part.

  • Tony Blair may become a Roman Catholic

    Mr Blair is to resign as Prime Minister on 27th June.

    12:19 PM — The Prime Minister will change his religion when he leaves office, it has been reported.Tony Blair, an Anglican, regularly attends Roman Catholic Mass with his family.Fr Michael Seed, a close family friend, hinted to The Times that he might convert.There is confusion over whether a Roman Catholic can serve as Prime Minister.

  • 17th May 2007

    Labour favourite with gay voters

    A recent opinion poll found 84% in favour of some sort of recognition for lesbian and gay couples.

    6:37 PM — A poll of the Republic of Ireland's gay community has revealed their voting intentions.Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern asked the country's President to dissolve Parliament at the end of April and a general election will be held on May 24th. It is expected to be a close race.The survey of nearly 1,200 gay and lesbian people was carried out last year for scene magazine GCN.

  • Gay groups to be banned from Polish schools 3

    Plans to ban discussions on homosexuality in schools and educational institutions came from Poland's education minister Roman Giertych.

    6:11 PM — The minister for education in Poland has defied a European Parliament censure and plans to go ahead with new legislation banning the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.The confirmation of plans to ban discussions on homosexuality in schools and educational institutions came from Poland's education minister Roman Giertych, the leader of the League of Polish Families party.Last month the European Parliament called for a fact-finding mission to Poland in light of the proposed homophobic measures in schools.

  • St Petersburg Pride banned

    A range of celebrations are planned for May 26th

    5:02 PM — City authorities in the Russian city of St Petersburg have banned a gay parade from taking place later this month.Organisers of the Pride event said they will defy the ban and go ahead with a parade down the city's main street, Nevsky Prospekt on May 26th. Around 2,000 people are expected to take part.A range of celebrations are already planned for May 26th, which is also an important date in the Russian Orthodox church, who objected to the parade.

  • International day of action brings hope 1

    In Mexico, Mexico City and the northeastern state of Coahuila passed civil-union laws opening recognition to same-sex couples.

    12:28 PM — While the Hall of Shame unveiled today Human Rights Watch shows that there is a long way to go to achieve gay equality.However, there are also large and small gains that give reason for hope on the International Day Against Homophobia.In Nepal the authorities in February gave a meti (transgender person) in February an official citizenship ID with a gender listed as neither male nor female.

  • Pope tops anti-gay list 5

    Human Rights Watch named them today in its annual “hall of shame” to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.

    12:08 PM — Pope Benedict XVI, US President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have undermined human rights by actively promoting prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.Human Rights Watch named them today in its annual "hall of shame" to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.On May 17th, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups in more than 50 countries will commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia.

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