3rd January 2008
Brighton hosts its 1,000th civil partnership 4
5:50 PM — Almost two years to the day that they became a legal reality, a lesbian couple became the 1,000th couple to enter into a civil partnership in Brighton.Company director Sue McCall and Emma Grose-McCall, a lawyer, have been together for six years. They signed the civil register at Brighton Register Office on 22nd December."We had a quiet ceremony but its something we've wanted for some time," said Emma.
Muslim leaders back Ken for third term as Mayor 3
4:35 PM — The re-election of Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London is in the best interests of Muslims, according to 63 leading Islamic figures.Imams and community leaders have signed a statement pledging support for his campaign for a third term in office, citing his support for the Palestinian people and opposition to UK policy in Iraq as key reasons to support him.Ihtisham Hibatullah from the British Muslim Initiative, told The Guardian: "He supports religious freedom."
Coming out raises plight of gays in Korean military
4:00 PM — A South Korean riot policeman has declared his homosexuality on a police community website, raising questions about the treatment of gay people in the country's Armed Forces.All young men in the country are obliged to serve in the military or in the riot police for up to two years and have to take a test at the time of enlistment which includes various questions about their sexual orientation.Private Kim Hyun-jong (not his real name) vowed to fight social prejudice against sexual minorities.
Gay group questions Huckabee’s extreme views 7
3:01 PM — An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of "ex-gay" groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.TruthWinsOut has said it is "alarmed" that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee in the lead.
Lesbian senator committed to fight for gay equality
2:30 PM — As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia's Legislative Council she was instrumental in pushing forward some of the most progressive gay equality laws in Australia, including equalising the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.Now 35-year-old Louise Pratt has pledged to work just as hard as an advocate for LGBT rights in her new role as a federal Senator.She has spoken of her excitement at the recent elections that brought her party to power after 11 years of opposition.
Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law 24
2:02 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which is also supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Sperm donor child support case under review
12:10 PM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple and was subsequently made to pay child support has revealed that his case is being reviewed by the Child Support Agency.Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.As this was a private arrangement not organised through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), he is legally the father.
Postmortem reveals DJ died of heart attack 2
11:45 AM — One of the first out gay DJs on BBC Radio 1 died after taking large quantities of ecstasy, cocaine and GHB.Postmortem results on Kevin Greening, 44, indicate he suffered a heart attack.An un-named man in his 50s was arrested at the Wandsworth address where Greening's body was found on Saturday evening and questioned by detectives on suspicion of murder and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club 1
11:20 AM — A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages from Bournemouth's largest gay nightclub.Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning."I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has ever been harassed. I'm like a bulldog, I don't let go," Ms Legg told the Dorset Echo .
Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5
10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.
COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1
10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.
New York HIV infections up 32% among young gay men
10:02 AM — It has been over two decades since the HIV/AIDS epidemic became a national concern, and although in most communities the annual infection rate has been falling, New York City's young gay population doesn't seem to be part of the trend.The NY State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released new statistics about HIV/AIDS demographics, and the news is alarming for the gay population.The New York Times reports rates of new infection of HIV rose 32 percent in the five-year period from 2001-2006 among young gay men.