2nd January 2008
Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8
5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.
Police chief’s drugs stance attacked by MP 1
4:40 PM — Labour MP Chris Bryant has attacked as "dangerous" views expressed by North Wales Police chief constable Richard Brunstrom that ecstasy is safer than tobacco, alcohol and aspirin.Mr Brunstrom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the scare mongering around ecstasy was not borne out by fact."If you look at the government's own research you will find that ecstasy by comparison to many other substances, legal and illegal, is a comparatively safe substance," he said.
US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2
2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.
Minister to attend Schools OUT conference 8
1:45 PM — Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at an LGBT education event next month.The Schools OUT annual conference will be held on February 2nd in the Drill Hall in central London.Founded in 1974, Schools OUT Works towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in education.
Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays 6
12:30 PM — A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.
PinkNews.co.uk list highlights lack of female representation 55
11:50 AM — A snapshot of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in British politics has revealed that women are seriously under-represented.Just one female, the Labour MP and minister Angela Eagle, made it into the top 10, with another four in the top 50.Margot James, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge and party vice-chair, is at number 17, while Margaret Smith, the Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West, is at number 32.
Stonewall welcomes honours for gay rights activists 1
11:20 AM — The former director of Stonewall has been recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.Angela Mason, who headed the gay equality organisation from 1993 to 2003, becomes a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). She was previously awarded the OBE.Earlier this year she retired as head of the government's Women and Equality Unit. She now works as an adviser to the Improvement and Development Agency.
Joy in Concord as gay unions arrive in New Hampshire 1
10:50 AM — A group of gay and lesbian couples took advantage of a new law that came into force in the US state of New Hampshire yesterday by entering into civil unions in a mass outdoor ceremony.There were no protestors at the Statehouse in the capital Concord as 37 couples braved sub-zero temperatures just minutes into 2008 and exchanged vows.Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.
English Cardinal attacks gay people in New Year message 21
10:20 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has linked gay people to drug and alcohol abuse and claimed that parents want their children to be taught that marriage is superior to all other "lifestyles."Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message, which was read out at church services across the Diocese of Westminster, marks the Feast of the Holy Family.It has been interpreted as an attack on the government's stance on equality for gay people.
Cher to present coming out TV show
10:05 AM — Singer Cher and her lesbian daughter Chastity Bono are to co-host a new reality television show aimed at helping people to come out of the closet, according to reports in the US.Chastity, whose late father Sonny Bono was Cher's husband and musical collaborator and a former member of the US House of Representatives, is a leading LGBT rights activist.She was outed by a tabloid newspaper in 1990 when she was 21 years old and initially denied her sexuality.