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Politics

  • 19th January 2007

    Prescott reveals a fear of gays 2

    Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights lobby Stonewall, was clear that he for one does not think Mr Prescott was being anti-gay.

    4:36 PM — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has spoken to BBC Radio 4 about his days as a merchant seaman, and revealed that he was uncomfortable sharing a cabin with gay crew.The 68-year-old, who is due to stand down as Labour party deputy leader later this year, worked as a steward on the Cunard Line in the 1950's.A documentary about his time at sea, called Prescott At Your Service, has been made by the BBC radio station.

  • Matthew Shepard’s mum nominated for award

    Anyone can vote for Judy Shepard and the foundation at www.volvoforlifeawards.com

    4:13 PM — Gay activists in America are urging people across the world to vote for Judy Shepard, who has been chosen as a finalist in the fifth "Volvo For Life" awards.Mrs Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew.

  • Homophobic Muslim preacher faces police probe 2

    The controversial preacher was caught on camera at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.

    11:21 AM — The Birmingham mosque exposed in a Channel 4 documentary as a Mecca for extremist Muslims is being investigated by police after calls from an MP for police to intervene.The Dispatches programme, broadcast on Monday, showed undercover footage of preacher Abu Usamah calling for gay people to be executed.The controversial preacher was caught on camera at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.

  • 18th January 2007

    Controversial gay ex-MP demands pension

    Olexander claimed his expulsion was as a result of homophobia within the party.

    4:45 PM — The Australian former Liberal party MP Andrew Olexander is in the limelight once again.He is applying for an exemption to allow him to access a pension paid for by the taxpayer.Mr Olexander was a controversial figure in the Liberal party, roughly equivalent to the Conservatives in the UK.

  • Education Secretary stands up for gay song 1

    Alan Johnson, a candidate for the deputy leader of the Labour party once John Prescott stands down, stood up for gay rights during the recent Cabinet row over the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

    12:11 PM — Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, has told BBC Radio 4 listeners that he would be happy if the song (Sing If You're) Glad To Be Gay is included in a book for schoolchildren.The Daily Express reports that the comments have "sparked a major row."

  • Gay homeless charity gets new chief

    16 year old Albert Kennedy fell to his death from the top of a car park in Manchester whilst trying to escape a car load of queerbashers.

    11:30 AM — The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), a charity that works with and supports homeless LGBT teenagers, has a new chief executive.Tim Sigsworth has joined AKT from the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Manchester.Mr Sigsworth replaces Richard McKendrick, who left AKT at the end of 2006 to take up a new role as Director of Operations at Addaction.

  • 17th January 2007

    THT get £1.5m Lottery grant for youth project 2

    THT plans to establish boards of young people aged 13 to 18 in seven regions in England.

    5:56 PM — HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has been awarded close to £1.5m by the Big Lottery Fund.The grant will be used to establish a sex and relationships education (SRE) project for young people across England.The three-year project will be launched in April with the title "Young Leaders," and will be directed entirely by the young people involved.

  • Gay-friendly Obama to run for President 2

    As well as being anti-war, Obama is pro-choice, favours civil unions for lesbian and gay couples and supports universal health care.

    10:24 AM — Senator Barack Obama took the first step on the road to the White House yesterday.The 45-year-old junior Senator from Illinois announced that he is forming an exploratory committee, which allows him to raise funds and put together a campaign.Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

  • 16th January 2007

    Arnie faces pressure from gay Republicans 1

    The Austrian-American has a poor record on gay rights.

    6:09 PM — The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is under pressure from gay activists in his own party to approve a gay marriage bill.The former action star is seen as a moderate Republican who learned to work with the Democrat-controlled state legislature since he took office in 2003.Now members of the Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT lobbying group, are calling on the governor to treat gay rights as a civil rights issue.

  • Sir Ian to launch LGBT History Month 3

    The History Month seeks to reclaim the position of LGBT people in the curriculum and in wider society.

    10:05 AM — Actor and activist Sir Ian McKellen will be the featured speaker at the launch of LGBT History Month next month.The launch will form part of the annual Schools Out conference, on Saturday 3rd February at the Drill Hall theatre in London.Schools Out is one of the oldest gay campaigning groups in the UK.

  • 15th January 2007

    ENDA on the agenda as Congress returns to work

    The White House has already indicated that the President will veto ENDA if it makes it through the Senate.

    3:20 PM — As US legislators return to work in Washington today, gay rights activists are hopeful that hate crimes and workplace protection legislation will move forward in the coming session.The Democrats are in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.While politics watchers are immersed in the Presidential campaigns, all of the House and a third of the Senate are also up for re-election in November.

  • Gay Democrats unhappy with Leadership choice 1

    In 2004, with his eye on his failed bit for the Senate, Harold Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution.

    2:17 PM — The National Stonewall Democrats today spoke of their deep concern that former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr has been named as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).NSD said the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community should closely scrutinise the record of Congressman Ford in light of the development.In 2004, with his eye on his failed bit for the Senate, Harold Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution.

  • Gay unions in South Africa delayed by bureaucracy 57

    In the UK, churches are specifically barred from performing civil partnerships.

    2:17 PM — Lesbian and gay couples in South Africa hoping to get married in church are facing delays because of a backlog of people waiting to take a qualification exam.Government "registrars," called marriage officers, were all trained about the Civil Unions Act last year, before the Act became law.

  • Bashkortostan is latest country to debate gay marriage

    It is unclear how other politicians in the federal republic of 4 million people will react to the law.

    1:53 PM — A politician in a remote Russian republic is to introduce a bill recognising same-sex partnerships.Edward Murzin, a member of the Bashkir State Assembly, has introduced the bill.He told the Interfax news agency that he wanted to uphold the Russian constitution, which bars discrimination of any kind.

  • Comment: Romney must win Michigan to stay in race 1

    Romney is behind 'comeback-senior' John McCain, the 72-year-old Senator from Arizona, in national polls among the crowded GOP pack.

    12:35 PM — Money, the pundits have long said, is the 'mother's milk' of politics. On the other hand, the Beatles might counter, "money can't buy you love."Multi-millionaire and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is about to find out if all the money he's spent on consultants, ads, and organisational infrastructure trying to win the Republican presidential nomination will buy him the love of voters in today's Michigan Primary.Michigan is a must-win for Romney after coming in second in Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • Scottish government backs hate crimes bill 74

    Recent studies in Scotland revealed that violence against the gay community is reaching a devastating level.

    11:20 AM — Ministers, MSPs, police chiefs, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and gay rights activists have welcomed the announcement that the government in Scotland will support an extension of the country's hate crimes legislation to protect LGBT people and the disabled.The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill was proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP.It will bring Scotland into line with England and Wales.

  • 14th January 2007

    Spanish voters will go to the polls in March 5

    The Church has been accused of interfering in the political process in recent months.

    3:10 PM — Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.King Juan Carlos has given his approval. While the campaign proper runs for the two weeks leading up to the poll, in effect political parties have been electioneering for months.While some polls show the incumbent Socialists a few points ahead of their main conservative rivals Paritdo Popular, most have them tied.

  • New Jersey legislates against gay bullying

    The bill would establish a 'Commission on Bullying in Schools'.

    10:10 AM — A bill that would strengthen current laws against hate crimes and bullying has been passed to the New Jersey General Assembly.The bill was sponsored by Puerto Rican Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo."Acts of hatred or violence against a person - especially a child - cannot be tolerated in our state in this day and age," said Caraballo told the New Jersey Politicker .

  • 12th January 2007

    Gay sex scandal minister’s political comeback

    He claimed he was going for a walk, and accepted an invitation from a man to go and dine with him. He was mugged, and the tabloids seized on the whiff of a sex scandal.

    11:48 AM — The politician who provided the first sex scandal of Tony Blair's government has told ITV that he intends to stand for the Welsh Assembly.Ron Davies was Secretary of State for Wales in 1998, when an incident on Clapham Common forced him to resign from the government.

  • Pressure on Ruth Kelly over gay rights law 4

    The SOR were meant to come into force in England and Wales on January 1st, but Communities Secretary Kelly delayed them.

    11:48 AM — The defeat of a motion in the House of Lords to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland has been welcomed by gay activists.The debate has also added to the pressure on Ruth Kelly to ensure that the same regulations are introduced to England and Wales.The SOR were meant to come into force in England and Wales on January 1st, but Communities Secretary Kelly delayed them.

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