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January 2007

  • 8th January 2007

    Orkney Council denies homophobia accusations 5

    The council has told the 72-year-old composer that he must travel to the main island of Orkney for a civil partnership ceremony.  photo: Collins Classics

    9:45 AM — The remote Scottish island of Sanday is at the centre of a row, after a leading British composer was refused permission for a civil partnership ceremony.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, who is Master of the Queen's Music, has lived on the small island, the third largest of the Orkney Islands, for nine years.He had planned a ceremony with his partner, Colin Parkinson, next month.

  • 5th January 2007

    MBE for LGBT Alzheimer’s helpline volunteer

    Roger Newman of the Alzheimer's Society's Lesbian and Gay Network has been awarded an MBE for charitable services.

    5:15 PM — Roger Newman of the Alzheimer's Society's Lesbian and Gay Network has been awarded an MBE for charitable services.The award, announced in the New Years Honours list, recognises the work that Roger and the ASLGN do in supporting the needs of people with dementia, and their carers, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.The society's trained volunteers provide a telephone support service as well as information, advice and information on best practice for carers.

  • COMMENT: Peter Tatchell – A quote for every occasion? 5

    I'm never sure what Peter Tatchell is going to discuss when I see him appear on television - Westminster politics, Iraq, Zimbabwe or gay rights?

    5:00 PM — The execution of Saddam Hussein led commentator Ben Leung to confront his mixed feelings towards gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Despite staying up the night before for news of his demise, it wasn't until I saw the front-page of The Times newspaper at a windswept Ascot racecourse that I truly accepted that Saddam was dead.The headline of the 4am edition was brief and succinct: 'SADDAM HANGED', two words which not many people could ever have imagined seeing had suddenly become a reality.

  • Gordon Ramsay 50th most popular gay icon 4

    There are no lesbians on the list. That means only 18% of “gay icons“ are in fact gay. photo: Channel 4

    1:44 PM — Foul-mouthed footballer-turned-chef Gordon Ramsay has come bottom of a poll of 5,000 gay men and lesbians asked to name a gay icon.The swaggeringly heterosexual Ramsay, a former Scotland international, has a minority appeal to some gay men.Australian singer Kylie Minogue came first in the survey, conducted by market research company OnePoll.com

  • London Triathlon will push you to the limit 57

    Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges, more even than a marathon, is a triathlon.

    1:10 PM — For many of us, January is a month of good intentions. Eating less, giving up smoking and getting more exercise consistently top the list of New Year resolutions.For people who already eat healthily, do not smoke and are fit as fiddles, a more substantial goal for 2007 is required, something that will test their endurance and willpower.Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges, more even than a marathon, is a triathlon.

  • Gay Congressman takes up key post

    In 1998, he founded the National Stonewall Democrats, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democratic pressure group.

    12:17 PM — The only out gay man in the new 110th US Congress has been appointed chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee, and has promised to give shareholders more say over executive salaries.Rep. Barney Frank commented in 1996 that he is used to being in the minority, but thanks to the shift of power in Congress as a result of the November elections the left-handed, Jewish homosexual suddenly finds himself in the driving seat.

  • Panto in aid of gay rights campaigners

    Will there be cross-dressing, romance, tiny shorts, comedy, smut, pathos and sweet-throwing? Oh yes there will!  photo: Jonathan Clarke

    11:33 AM — London Frontrunners, the gay and lesbian running club, will present a one-off special performance of its pantomime Cinders and the Panto Pride Run on 21 January 2007 at the Black Cap in Camden, in aid of Stonewall.The show was first seen at Clapham's The Two Brewers in December.The pantomime's writers, Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, told PinkNews.co.uk "There are so many fairytales. But there aren't any gay ones yet - the coming out story is the closest we have. So we thought about creating our own."

  • Christian Union students want gay acceptance test case 4

    Recently the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, criticised student unions for barring homophobic groups, claiming it was an attack on free speech.

    11:21 AM — A small group of Christian students at Exeter University are going to court to try to set a legal precedent about acceptance of gay rights.The Christian Union has been prevented from using facilities at the university because they ban gay or lesbian students from joining their organisation."Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take," a Union spokesman told The Daily Mail. 

  • Prison Break star quashes gay rumours

    He has become something of a gay icon as a result of his role in the homo-erotically charged prison drama.

    11:11 AM — The star of hit TV show Prison Break has responded to rumours he is gay.Wentworth Miller has built up a huge following in the gay community after coming to prominence playing the role of Michael Scofield.Miller, who was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, is quoted by WENN as stating, "No, I'm not gay. I know these rumours are out there...I'm cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy."

  • Vatican embraces gay icon

    The inclusion of Wilde in a Catholic-endorsed book has puzzled many Vatican watchers.

    10:22 AM — Oscar Wilde, long claimed by the gay community as the ultimate bitchy queen, has been embraced by one of Pope Benedict's closest advisers.The Vatican's head of protocol, Fr Leonardo Sapienza, has published a book of witty remarks for Christians, perhaps aware that the devout tend not to be the most spontaneously amusing of people.Irish-born playwright Wilde is featured heavily in Provocations: Aphorisms for an Anti-conformist Christianity. 

  • 4th January 2007

    Nepalese gays face new persecution

    LGBT leaders warned last October that their rights might not be protected by the new government.

    4:10 PM — Gangs of Maoist militants have launched a campaign in Nepal against the country's gay and lesbian population.The country's only gay rights organisation, Blue Diamond, reports that this new oppression is sanctioned by Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala.Gays and lesbians in the Himalayan kingdom previously suffered persistent persecution from security forces during the absolutist rule of King Gyanendra.

  • COMMENT: Congress should scrap “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 5

    A poll published last month showed that 73% of people currently serving in the US Armed Forces are comfortable with lesbians and gays.

    4:10 PM — A new United States Congress will be sworn in later today. In the November election, the Democratic party seized control of both the House and Senate. PinkNews.co.uk's Tony Grew considers whether the 110th Congress will be the one to finally allow gays and lesbians to serve in the US military. It seems America is finally coming to terms with the fact that there are gay people in their Armed Forces, whether they ask or not.

  • Egyptian man questioned over dismembered body 57

    The body was found in a suitcase outside Cairo. photo: marc lacoste@flckr.com

    2:10 PM — An Egyptian man is being questioned in Cairo after the discovery of the remains of a German national in a suitcase.The victim was identified because his mobile phone had also been packed into the suitcase, which was discovered on a plateau outside the city. The Australian newspaper reports that Mustapha Maher was arrested by Egyptian police on 27th December soon after the grisly discovery.

  • Homophobic teenager convicted of firearm offence

    Both were ordered to carry out community service. The severity of their sentences reflects the homophobic nature of their crimes.

    1:31 PM — Two Surrey teenagers have received suspended jail sentences after they threatened people at a popular beauty spot with an air rifle and a samurai sword last May Bank Holiday.The pair, both unemployed, arrived at the Wisley Car Park in Old Lane, Ockham, Surrey, by car and shouted homophobic abuse at passers-by before producing their weapons and using them in a threatening manner.

  • Home Office anti-homophobia campaign gets 5 out of 10

    Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.

    11:50 AM — The charity Schools OUT, which works to combat homophobic bullying in schools, has welcomed the Home Office's new guidance to schools, but has said that overall the government "must do better."Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.

  • Stonewall slams Christian/Muslim protest 8

    Mr Summerskill said that Stonewall had worked over the Christmas period to exert as much pressure as possible in support of the new rules to protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination.

    10:59 AM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Gay rights organisation Stonewall has described claims by Christian and Muslim activists that new anti-discrimination regulations will force religious groups to hire gay people as fantasy.Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive, also accused evangelical Christians of breaking one of the ten commandments.

  • Jewish leaders question anti-discrimination regulations 1

    This is the first time the Jewish Board of Deputies has joined the debate over the regulations.

    10:15 AM — The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents most of the Jewish community in the UK, has weighed into the controversy surrounding new regulations that grant gay people protection against discrimination.The organisation has expressed concern about the controversial new rules, due to be introduced this month.They have been delayed on the orders of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, after protests from the Christian churches.

  • 3rd January 2007

    Muslims urged to join protest against “deviants” 8

    The unusual combination of hardline Christians and Muslims will hold what is billed as a torchlight parade in Westminster next Wednesday.

    4:55 PM — Evangelical Christians will be joined on their protest march on Parliament on January 9th by leading members of the Muslim community.Earlier this week, a group of Christian lawyers announced their intention to petition the Queen and protest at the Palace of Westminster to show their opposition to the proposed regulations to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.

  • Switzerland’s first gay union celebrated

    Swiss citizens who collect 50,000 signatures in 30 days can force a referendum on any new law.

    4:55 PM — An 89-year-old man and his 60-year-old partner have taken part in Swizerland's first gay civil union, it has been revealed.The Alpine state passed legislation to recognise same-sex partnerships in 2004, and it came into effect on January 1st.In a ceremony in Lorcano on Tuesday the couple, who have been together 30 years, exchanged vows in a ceremony described by witness Donatella Zappa as, "very moving."

  • 32% of LGBT net users online more than 24 hours a week 57

    The survey of over 2,500 adults, conducted by Harris interactive, also revealed that gays are twice as likely to visit blogs.

    4:55 PM — A recent survey of internet use in the USA has shown that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are online more often than their straight counterparts.The study also revealed that sites like youtube.com, MySpace and Friendster are more popular with LGBT surfers than with heteros.Excluding email, nearly twice as many gays and lesbians (32%) say they are online between 24 and 168 hours per week, compared to 18 percent of heterosexuals.

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