UKIP candidate resigns after anti-gay remarks

A prominent Ukip general election candidate has resigned after making a string of offensive remarks, including calling gay members "poofters", and joking about shooting people on a "peasant" hunt in Essex.

Kerry Smith, a member of both Essex County Council and Basildon District Council, quit as Ukip's candidate in a top target seat after being forced to apologise for the comments.

Is France’s far-right flirting with gay vote?

PARIS, France -- France’s far-right National Front party announced Friday that the cofounder of a prominent gay rights group was joining its ranks and will be a future candidate in elections, a surprise move for a group that has long been linked to homophobic views.

Party leader Marine Le Pen and Sébastian Chenu held a joint press conference in Paris to confirm he was leaving the right-wing opposition Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party to work alongside the anti-immigration National Front (FN).

Namibia: Mysterious deportation of gay refugee from Uganda

WINDHOEK, Namibia -- Kris Kelly had sought refuge in Namibia when Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which has since been declared unconstitutional by the Ugandan Constitutional Court.

The Namibian Immigration Tribunal declared Kelly a prohibited immigrant in February and ordered his deportation to Uganda.

Although The Namibian understands that Kelly was deported to Uganda on Nov. 29 despite a High Court interdict, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said he left on his own accord.

Australia: First gay leader to keep up fight for marriage equality

CANBERRA, Australia -- Andrew Barr has pledged to use his historic status as the nation's first openly gay head of government to continue to advocate for same-sex marriage in Australia.

Moments after receiving a standing ovation on his election as the seventh Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Barr paid tribute to his long-term partner Anthony Toms who was watching on from the crowded public gallery.

"Anthony, I love you and I look forward to the day when we can legally marry in this country," an emotional Barr said.

Uganda losing business over anti-gay bill, U.S. warns

KAMPALA, Uganda -- The United States has warned Uganda that its efforts to pass new anti-gay laws are damaging the economy by scaring off investors.

Ugandan lawmakers have said they hope to submit new anti-homosexuality legislation before they break for December holidays, after a previous law that could have seen offenders jailed for life was struck down by a constitutional court on a technicality.

US Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi said the controversy had damaged the east African nation's economy.

ISIS conducts third execution for homosexuality

Chilling new images released by ISIS militants show a group of fighters throwing a man off the roof of a building for being gay - as others pictures emerge of bloodied "rapists" being strung up in the streets of the same town.

Moments before he is flung to his death, a mob of at least eight men can be seen atop of the building that is believed to be somewhere in northern Iraq.

Finland: Interior Minister to challenge same-sex marriage ruling

HELSINKI, Finland -- Finland Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen has vowed to challenge last Friday’s decision by MPs to legalize gender-neutral unions.

The minister, who is the leader of the Christian Democrats party, said that despite getting the green light, the law change would still have to be passed in the next parliament. She has also criticized the Prime Minister Alexander Stubb for stating that he supported gay marriage before last week’s vote.

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RGOD2: A pragmatic look at Human Rights Day 2014

(Editor's note: The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle's weekly RGOD2 column normally is published on Fridays on SDGLN, but this week will be bumped up to today because it is Human Rights Day 2014.)

“Human rights do not make human wrongs.” The world community is shifting in our international agreements on what constitutes “human rights,” and it will have a devastating effect on the future of global peacemaking, development and economic growth.

Australia: U.S. trans activist deported for advertising sexual services

SYDNEY, Australia -- The Immigration Department has alleged that a deported U.S. transgender activist advertised herself for sexual services and later admitted lying about it, according to court documents.

Monica Jones, 30, of Phoenix, Arizona accused the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of denying her procedural fairness when it cancelled her tourist visa after she arrived at Sydney Airport last month.

Sinn Fein vows to torpedo DUP's "religious freedom" bill

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Sinn Fein has vowed to torpedo an attempt by the DUP to amend equality laws to introduce a conscience clause for people with religious convictions.

First Minister Peter Robinson has backed his colleague Paul Givan's Private Member's Bill, which is aimed at allowing businesses to refuse services to a customer if they feel it is against their religious convictions.