5th July 2007
BBC’s attitude to homophobic language ‘damages children’ 8
7:11 PM — The decision by the Minister for Children to unequivocally criticise broadcasters' acceptance of homophobic language has delighted gay activists.In a speech to Stonewall's Education for All conference today, minister Kevin Brennan, a former teacher, said that homophobic bullying and the use of words like 'gay' and 'poof' by radio and TV presenters are linked."Just one example is the casual use of homophobic language by mainstream radio DJs," he said.
Iraqi death squads use chat rooms to entrap gay men 3
5:32 PM — Two gay Iraqi men have survived kidnapping and beating by the violently homophobic Mahdi Army.The army is loyal to firebrand fundamentalist Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who is fighting to establish an Islamist dictatorship in Iraq.Two months after their ordeal, traumatised Ahmed, 23, and Zaid, 24, both students in Baghdad University, have come forward to tell how they were lured into a trap by members of the Mahdi Army.
Boris Johnson might smash gay mayoral ambitions 7
4:41 PM — The race for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London became more interesting today with the revelation that the party's Higher Education spokesman Boris Johnson is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring.If Mr Johnson, one of the most popular Tory MPs in the country, does decide to run it will end the ambitions of two gay prospective candidates.Earlier this week Nick Boles, an openly gay man, withdrew from the race to undergo treatment for cancer.
No breakaway church for opponents of gay acceptance
4:01 PM — Nigeria's Anglican Archbishop, Peter Akinola, has denied any ambition to lead a breakaway church, despite his strong opposition to his western colleagues in the Anglican dispute over gay priests.His conservative views towards gay marriage has made him a popular figure within the conservative wing of the church.He told the The Times: "That has never been on my mind. We are going nowhere."
Jazz showman and master of ambiguity dies aged 80
2:53 PM — George Melly, a man who defied labels thoughout his life, has died.He will be remembered for his love of jazz, his legendary performances at London club Ronnie Scott's and his strong support for the gay community.Mr Melly, 80, was suffering from cancer and demenita. His wife Diana was with him when he died at his home in London in the early hours of this morning.
Analysis: Homophobia rampant in British schools 1
2:22 PM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment. That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.
Big Brother contestant censured over gay jibe 8
2:00 PM — Channel 4 has responded to complaints that they treat homophobia less seriously than racism in the reality TV programme Big Brother after a contestant used the word 'poof' for a second time.PinkNews.co.uk readers had complained that earlier in the series the use of the word 'nigger' had seen one housemate removed, but the 'poof' incident went unpunished.A spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk: "We took the initial view that Laura's use of the word 'poof' in reference to Liam was not derogatory."
Massive discrimination award for black lesbian firefighter
1:30 PM — A fire fighter who was harassed at work for being blakck, a woman and a lesbian was awarded $7.2m by a jury in her lawsuit against the Los Angeles Fire Department.Brenda Lee said that because of her race, gender and sexual orientation she was forced to do grueling exercises without proper precautions and was also at the end of offensive comments from department bosses.The harassment and mistreatment included someone mixing urine with her mouthwash, she said.
Government committed to stamping out gay bullying 1
1:12 PM — The newly-appointed minister for Children, Kevin Brennan, has committed the government to working with Stonewall to eradicate homophobic bullying from British schools.Speaking at the gay equality organisation's Education for All conference in London, Mr Brennan said the new Department for Children, Schools and Families would focus on the security, well being and success of children in all aspects of their life, not just academic achievement, and that stopping bullying in all forms was a key part of that mission.
Minister slams casual homophobia of DJs like Chris Moyles 8
12:44 PM — Kevin Brennan, the new Minister for Children, told an audience of education professionals and activists in London today that homophobic language used on TVand radio is unacceptable.Speaking at the Stonewall Education for All conference, the minister said that the perception that the use of words like 'poof' or 'gay' is 'just a bit of harmless banter' contributes to homophobic bullying in schools.
Mayor demands robotic toilets to stop cruising 1
12:01 PM — The mayor of the Florida city of Fort Lauderdale wants a robotic toilet that could prevent homosexual activity that he says haunts public restrooms on beach.Mayor Jim Naugle believes that robotic toilets will scare off gay cruisers.Mr Naugle told Sun-Sentinel: "We're trying to provide a family environment where people can take their children who need to use the bathroom."
Harman and Follett emerge as ‘part time’ Ministers for Equality
12:01 PM — After much confusion, Harriet Harman has emerged as Minister for Women and Equality. Initially it was believed that the role would be combined with that of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as it was with Ruth Kelly.Hazel Blears, who was appointed as the Secretary of State for Communities, was thought to be keen to play a role in Equality.Barbara Follett is Junior Minister for Women and Equality.