2nd January 2007
Steps star comes out before entering Celeb Big Brother 2
5:13 PM — Ian Watkins, a former member of Steps, has revealed that he is gay. The 30-year-old Welshman, better known as H, is taking part in this year's Celebrity Big Brother, which begins tonight on Channel 4.Watkins, a former Butlins redcoat, also revealed that he had a ten-year relationship with the band's manager, Tim Byrne, which ended recently.In an allusion to the Little Britain character of Daffyd, he told The Sun, "I come from a small valley in Wales and it just wasn't the thing to do to be gay. It's a bit of a cliche — but I was the only gay in the village."
Russian New Years Eve nets George Michael £1.5m
5:13 PM — Pop icon George Michael has rounded off a triumphant European tour with a performance at a private function in Moscow on Sunday night, and came away £1.5m richer.The singer, who has had a turbulent 2006, saw in the New Year in the company of 300 guests of an un-named Russian billionaire, peforming an hour-long concert at the oligarch's mansion near Moscow.Michael's huge pay packet outstrips the £1m that American diva Christina Aguilera allegedly received for performing at the wedding of another rich Russian in September 2005.
A chance to catch up with This Life’s gay icon
5:13 PM — Tonight, BBC2 will be showing a programme that many viewers have been waiting a decade for.Cult hit drama This Life featured what many consider to be the one of the most influential gay characters in the history of television.Writer Amy Jenkins has returned to the lives of Egg, Milly, Anna, Miles and most importantly Warren, ten years after the series began.
Bright new dawn for Romanian and Bulgarian gays
4:42 PM — Yesterday two more former Eastern Bloc countries joined the European Union. Eighteen years after the fall of Communism, the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria celebrated becoming members of the exclusive Euro club.For the LGBT communities in the two countries, it was also a day of celebration, though not in the way readers might think. Gay rights in the two countries have progressed rapidly in recent years, although acceptance is still confined to major cities.
Gay activists fear for Sexual Orientation Regulations 3
4:04 PM — A leading gay rights group has expressed concern at the tactics being used by Christian groups opposing the introduction of new rules to protect LGBT people from discrimination.The Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrmination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexuality, are due to be implemented across England and Wales in April. Their introduction was controversially delayed by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.
Minister will consider national system for reporting homophobes 3
3:16 PM — Minister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has pledged support for a more effective system for the gay community to report hate crime.Last month, an investigation by PinkNews.co.uk discovered that access to a dedicated LGBT liaison officer is often impeded by a lack of awareness on the switchboard or by officers being unavailable at the desired time.
RAF sign up with Stonewall
1:59 PM — The Royal Air Force has become the second of the Armed Forces to join the Stonewall Diversity Programme.The Royal Navy is already a member of the scheme, which is designed to help organisations and businesses recruit and retain LGBT staff and promote equality in the workplace.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill described the decision as"courageous."
Belgian “Bad Girls” tie the knot
11:24 AM — Two female prisoners in Flanders have made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to get married while imprisoned.Linda Couvreur, 44, a mother of three, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2003, and Theresa 'Terry' Van Heyst, 43, a convicted arsonist, were married on the 29th of December in Bruges prison.The newly weds met last April in prison and fell in love. Terry even refused the early release for which she was eligible to stay with her lover.
Gay sheep experiments outrage campaigners 2
11:24 AM — Scientists and gay rights activists have criticised experiments being conducted in the US that aim to turn gay sheep straight.Oregon State University is conducting research into the hormonal balance in the brains of rams who are attracted to other rams.The scientists claim their research is aimed only at reducing or eliminating gay sheep.
At least 50 gay and lesbian priests are in civil partnerships 57
10:30 AM — 2007 looks set to be another turbulent year in the Anglican church, with reports that more than 50 gay and lesbian priests have entered into civil partnerships since December 2005 likely to re-ignite debate over homosexuality.The General Synod of the Church of England will hold the first of its twice-yearly meetings in February. Evangelicals will press for an open debate on the issue of homosexual clergy, Christian Today reports.
Christians ask the Queen to block gay protection 6
10:01 AM — A group of Christian lawyers is to petition the Queen over new regulations that will outlaw discrimination against gay and lesbian people.The Christian Concern for Our Nation is affiliated with The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, who claim to have over 2,000 members.The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England as well as Head of State.
George Michael charged by police 2
9:18 AM — Troubled pop icon George Michael has been formally charged following an incident last year when he was found by police in his car in Cricklewood, north London, allegedly passed out.Members of the public had called the police in the early hours of October 1st to deal with a Mercedes Benz S-Class car which was obstructing traffic lights.Michael was found at the wheel semi-conscious, taken to hospital and then arrested for suspected possession of drugs.
Anti-discrimination rules come into force in N Ireland 1
9:18 AM — New regulations that outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexual orientation came into force in Northern Ireland yesterday.The province is the first part of the UK to introduce new protections for the LGBT community.The measures were controversial, with churches on both sides of the religious divide arguing that the regulations will discriminate against people with religious views.