28th March 2008
Homophobic politician meets gay family group 10
11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has met with local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.Her supporters claim she has been subject to death threats, something denied by state police.
27th March 2008
‘Obama Girl’ wants Hillary Clinton out of Presidential race 11
6:50 PM — Amber Lee Ettinger, also known as "Obama Girl," has released a new video calling for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to drop out of the US Presidential race against Barack Obama.The first "Obama Girl" video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.The videos are the creation of BarelyPolitical.com and the original video has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube.com alone.
UK asylum system “not fit for purpose”
1:55 PM — A commission established to examine asylum policy and practice in the UK has concluded that it falls below the standards of a civilised nation.The 12-member Independent Asylum Commission's findings have been rejected by the Border and Immigration Agency, who claim they treat people with "care and compassion."The volume of people seeking asylum in the UK has fallen sharply and last year there were just over 23,000.
Cuban parliament considers LGBT rights bill 1
1:10 PM — A draft lesbian, gay and trans rights bill will be considered by Cuban legislators today.The proposed new law would grant equal rights to all citizens and is the first step towards same-sex unions and access to gender reassignment surgery.Mariela Castro, director of the National Sex Education Centre, said:"A relevant resolution will be signed in the nearest future by the Ministry of Health, which will determine the procedure for such surgery."
Obama and Clinton supporters attracted by McCain
10:55 AM — A surprising number of supporters of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would throw their votes to Republican John McCain if their candidate does not become the Democratic Presidential nominee, according to a new Gallup poll released yesterday.While only 19 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for McCain over Clinton, 28 percent of Clinton supporters would switch their vote to the Republican nominee.
26th March 2008
Paddick still favourite with gay voters 47
6:20 PM — The results of the second PinkNews.co.uk Mayor of London poll show that Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick still leads among respondents.225 people who live in the London area took part in the poll. Mr Paddick, who until last year was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK, won 43.5%, or 98 of the first preference votes.He was followed by incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, with 29.4% (66 votes). Tory candidate Boris Johnson won 12% (27 votes).
Hillary caught out over “sniper fire” claims
3:55 PM — Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has admitted she "made a mistake" over her claims that while visiting Bosnia in 1996 she was subject to sniper fire.The Former First Lady has been keen to portray her time in the White House as proof of her foreign affairs credentials.In a series of interviews last week she claimed that after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, she and her daughter Chelsea had to run for cover as they were targeted by sniper fire.
Lords debates illustrate objections to gay equality 17
12:45 PM — The Prime Minister's decision to allow Labour MPs a free vote on three clauses of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has surprised many Westminster watchers.The issues surrounding so-called 'saviour siblings,' human-animal embryos and the requirement for doctors to consider 'the need for a father' when deciding on whether to agree to carry out fertilisation or fertility treatments were all discussed at length in the Lords.Those debates should give us a flavour of the debate in the Commons, which is not expected until after the local council elections in May.
Downing St explains why MPs are getting a free vote 17
12:30 PM — Gordon Brown is "following the precedent set in 1990 with the original Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill" in allowing his MPs a free vote on measures that ensure gay equality.Roman Catholic Labour MPs are expected to challenge the removal of a requirement for doctors to "consider the need for a father" when deciding to consent to IVF or assisted conception treatments.The bill proposed to replace that with a need for "supportive parenting."
How will the embryology bill help gay and lesbian parents? 17
12:30 PM — The Prime Minister's announcement that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on legislation designed to ensure equal treatment for gay and lesbian people has dismayed gay rights groups and angered many in his own party.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently before Parliament aims to make it easier for lesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that a lesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.Tory MPs will be given a free vote on the bill.
Stonewall “disappointed” over free vote on gay equality 17
11:40 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has criticised the Prime Minister's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote on provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that aim to give gay and lesbian people equal access to NHS fertility and assisted conception services.The bill, currently before Parliament, would replace the current need for doctors to consider the need for a father when decided whether or not to provide such treatments with the need for supportive parenting.
NY gay couple demand meeting with Polish leader 19
11:03 AM — An American gay activist and his partner, whose wedding video was used by the President of Poland during a televised address to the nation in which he warned of the danger of same-sex marriage, want an apology and a meeting.Brendan Fay, who is originally from Ireland, met with journalists yesterday at the headquarters of New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch.President Kaczynski's address to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.
Obama and Bush are distant relatives claim genealogists
10:30 AM — A research study conducted by the New England Historic Genealogical Society has turned up a variety of interesting relations to the current Democratic and Republican candidates for US President.According to the study, Barack Obama is distantly related to such luminaries as George W. Bush and Brad Pitt, while Hillary Clinton has familial ties to Angelina Jolie and Madonna.John McCain turns out to be a cousin of First Lady Laura Bush.
13 candidates contend ‘cruising’ Senator’s seat
10:10 AM — Republican Senator Larry Craig is keeping his promise not to run for re-election after a media firestorm erupted last year over his alleged solicitation of a male police officer in an airport bathroom.Craig has repeatedly denied he solicited the officer and publicly proclaimed he is not gay.Although Craig refused to resign his post over the scandal, he promised in September that he would not run for re-election.
25th March 2008
Poles favour EU treaty despite anti-gay scaremongering 19
6:10 PM — An opinion poll in Poland has found strong backing for a new EU treaty criticised by the country's homophobic President in an address to the nation last week.The survey will come as an embarrassment to President Lech Kaczynski, who used lurid images of gay marriage to illustrate the "threat" to the Polish nation he claims the Lisbon treaty poses.The poll was published by daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
Home Office’s “Iranian propaganda” over gay hangings 2
4:30 PM — The government has been accused of being more inclined to believe Iran than human rights groups on the issue of how gay people are treated in that country.The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is angry that the Home Office minister in the Lords last week claimed that no-one has recently been executed in Iran "solely on the grounds of homosexuality."GALHA intend to write to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for clarification of the official position after statements by Lord West of Spithead.
Mayoral candidates on knives, teens and the environment 5
3:30 PM — The Mayor of London has promised to go ahead with a £25 charge for "gas guzzling" cars in the capital at the launch of his environment manifesto today.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st in the tightest race for Mayor since the office was established in 2000.Ken Livingstone said he opposed airport expansion at Heathrow or any other sites in London. "I have made environmental policy a central focus of all I have done as Mayor," he said.
COMMENT: Can celebs swing the Democratic nomination?
2:50 PM — Obama or Clinton? It seems to be a question at the forefront of every American Democrat's mind going into to this year's important Presidential election.While the Republican Party has elected their representative as John McCain, the other side seems to be a struggle less about the ideals of the candidates, which are very similar, and more about a popularity contest.Questions have been raised about who is more electable, who has more experience, and who has a better message.
Labour MPs get free vote on parts of embryology bill 17
2:10 PM — The Prime Minister has announced that MPs will be allowed to vote against parts of a government bill.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is due before the Commons in the next few weeks.MPs will get a free vote on three parts of the legislation: IVF research, saviour siblings and the creation of human-animal embryos.Mr Brown said that he believes stem cell research has the potential to cure some diseases "that have afflicted mankind for centuries."
Cardinal attacks new rights for gay parents 18
2:10 PM — The controversial Easter message from the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholic church contained an attack on new rights for lesbian and gay parents.Press coverage has concentrated on Cardinal Keith O'Brien's claims that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will create "Frankenstein-like" human-animal hybrid embryos, a charge rejected by the government and scientists.During his speech on Sunday the Cardinal accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of: "promoting a bill which denies that a child has a biological father."