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12 October 2007

  • 12th October 2007

    Minister signals tax breaks for married and civil partnered couples 19

    Andy Burnham said there is a “moral case“ for promoting marriage though the tax system

    11:14 PM — In an interview in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has signaled that the Government may give tax incentives to married couples, in recogniion of their benefits to society.The interview concentrates on traditonal, straight marriages, but under the Civil Partnership Act, all benefits offered to married couples must be offered to gay couples in civil partnerships.

  • Leading gay commentators question incitement law 100

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall hit back, saying there is a lot of misunderstanding about the proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    5:30 PM — Prominent gay journalists have expressed concern at proposals from the government to introduce a new offence of inciting hate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people.They believe it will undermine freedom of speech, adds little to existing laws and even plays into the hands of homophobes and bigots by allowing them to become martyrs.However, gay equality organisation Stonewall hit back, saying there is a lot of misunderstanding about the proposed new offence.

  • Father of Stuart Lubbock to claim compensation 5

    31-year-old Stuart Lubbock was discovered in Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001.

    4:40 PM — A government body that makes payments to the victims of violent crime has confirmed that the father of a young man found dead at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore is seeking compensation.31-year-old Stuart Lubbock was discovered in Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001.Three months later Barrymore and two other men were arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.

  • Howard may gamble on gay rights as a vote-winner 5

    It is widely expected that Mr Howard will call an election  for November 24th this weekend.

    3:33 PM — Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, is reportedly about to announce that gay and lesbian couples will be given a range of equal rights, a move that could help two key colleagues retain their seats in the imminent general election.Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be defending the Sydney seat of Wentworth, which after boundary changes now includes gay districts such as Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.With Howard's Liberal party trailing in the polls, The Age newspaper reports that the Prime Minister could make an announcement "within days."

  • Gay allies fall out over trans workplace protection

    Congresswoman Baldwin's “all or nothing“ position is supported by nearly 300 organisations representing the LGBT community in America.

    2:41 PM — The two openly-gay members of the US Congress are divided over proposals to remove gender identity from new legislation protecting LGBT people in the workplace.Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has committed herself to including trans people in the new law, which Congressman Barney Frank insists will cause the bill to be rejected by the House of Representatives."Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can do everything is self-defeating," Congressman Frank said yesterday.

  • Lesbian prison officer wins compensation case

    The prison department “permitted a work environment to flourish where the credible evidence showed that she could have been killed because she is a gay female.“

    2:05 PM — An American lesbian prison guard who suffered mental and physical abuse from a fellow male co-worker for over a year has been awarded $850,000 (£425,000) damages.The New York State Division of Human Rights ruled in favour of 55-year-old Alicia S. Humig after it was decided that the city's prison department ignored the abuse she was suffering from Jim Wright, a fellow officer at Wende prison in Alden, New York.It was revealed that Humig twice filed written complaints which were generally ignored by prison bosses.

  • Russian minister censors kissing policemen picture 1

    Mr Sokolov said: “If this exhibition appears it will bring shame on Russia. In this case, all of us will bear full responsibility.“

    1:55 PM — A photo of two policemen kissing, inspired by British graffiti artist Banksy, has been banned by Russia's culture minister from an exhibition of contemporary Russian art.Alexander Sokolov announced on Monday that the photo, Kissing Policemen (An Epoch of Clemency) by Russian art collective Blue Noses, would no longer be part of next week's show at the Maison Rouge exhibition hall in Paris.Alexander Shaburov, one of the Blue Noses, said the picture was homage to Banky's famous stencil of two policemen kissing.

  • Interview: Up close with Annie Lennox 1

    “I'm just sort of outraged at what I feel the human race has done, and is doing, to the planet.“

    12:54 PM — When Annie Lennox stepped up to the stage to accept the 2004 Academy Award for Best Original Song From a Major Motion Picture, something unique happened in living rooms around the world.Time stopped, and for a brief second, this legend of music... a woman who has won countless Grammys, BRIT Awards and the respect of musicians worldwide, became a kid again.Annie Lennox gushed. She grinned from ear to ear. In a time when some artists accept awards like they're a mandatory pay off for a job well done, this music icon rushed the stage like a kid in a candy store.

  • 18,000 tie the knot in first year of civil partnerships 1

    Most gay rights organisations such as Stonewall have supported civil partnerships along with all three main political parties.

    12:28 PM — Ten of thousands of lesbian and gay couples tied the knot during the first twelve months since civil partnerships were legalised.Detailed information from National Statistics said that 18,059 civil partnerships were formed between when the act came into force on 5th December 2005 until the end of 2006.There were 1,953 civil partnerships formed in the UK in December 2005 and 16,106 in 2006.

  • Young Tory resigns over homophobic Facebook group 6

    Bowman had posted comments on the relating homosexuality to the HIV virus and claiming he hates Jews.

    12:02 PM — A young Conservative student leader has been thrown out of the party and suspended from his university after making homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks on Facebook.Fergus Bowman, 22, a second-year politics and religion student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), had earlier resigned as chairman of the student union's Conservative Future branch.Conservative Future is an under-30s organisation that plays an active role in recruiting young people into the party.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Casual homophobia in the online staffroom 5

    Several of the users are even using the word 'gay' in exactly the same way they are being told to prevent it being used by children in schools.

    11:50 AM — Homophobic comments from people claiming to be teachers have appeared on the chat forum of the website for the Times Education Supplement (TES).Despite new guidelines aimed at helping teachers to tackle homophobia in schools, users of the "Staffroom" pages of the respected education website have publicly revealed ignorant and offensive views about gay people.

  • Gay World Series organisers apologise for offensive comedian 1

    His routine not only bombed, it caused participants to leave with some bitter feelings.

    11:21 AM — While the 2007 Gay World Series proved to be a homerun, there was a snafu during the opening ceremonies that had participants calling foul.Former Kids in the Hall sketch performer, Scott Thompson, apparently delivered an offensive and obnoxious routine that caused organisers to issue an official letter of apology.Last week Phoenix, Arizona played host to one of the largest gay sporting events in the world when it welcomed over 4,000 participants and fans to the North American Gay Amateur Alliance's annual softball world series.

  • Gay man in train crash death “not suicidal” 1

    The Telegraph reported that Drysdale's brother Ronald suspected that he was homosexual, but never got him to confide in him.

    11:05 AM — An inquest into a fatal collision heard how a closeted gay man killed when his car hit a passenger train was "tormented" by his sexuality, but not suicidal.Bryan Drysdale, a 48 year old year chef, was driving a Mazda which hit the Paddington to Plymouth train at 100mph near Ufton Nervet in November 2004.It resulted in seven deaths and 138 injuries, 18 seriously, when the impact turned the carriages of the train and made it slide down an embankment.

  • TURING: What is a gay (wo)man?

    Your columnist knows how supportive the notion of belonging to a community can be in a country where homosexuality is still a punishable criminal offence.

    10:55 AM — After a two-week hiatus, Turing returns to take the patriarchal, heterosexist societies of the world — and that's most, if not all of humanity — to task.There is an old New York joke that self-identified critical theorists often like to quote.'You're a terrorist? Thank God. I understood Meg to say you were a theorist.'The patient reader need not worry - this column is not a careful dissection of Queer Theory, nor is your columnist a student of the arts, specifically literary theory.

  • Comment: Lesbian reflections on Coming Out Day 1

    Now, since queer activists and pioneering celebs like Melissa Etheridge, k.d. Lang, and Ellen Degeneres, who paved the way for the L Word set, I've relaxed into my lesbian identity.

    10:35 AM — At the Lesbian News anniversary party at West Hollywood's trendy Eleven Nightclub last week a hunky, gay man I'd recently befriended looked at my girlfriend and I and paid us a wonderful compliment. "You two make a really good looking couple," he said.As he surveyed the roomful of glamorous Weho lesbians, he said — with the best intention —"Lesbians don't look like they did in the old days," which immediately sent me mentally time traveling to the not-so-distant past.

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