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04 February 2008

  • 4th February 2008

    Gay Radio 4 presenter raped New Year party man, court told 8

    Nigel Wrench denies all the charges against him (Photo:BBC)

    5:35 PM — An openly gay BBC Radio 4 presenter drugged and raped a man that he met at a New Years party, a court heard today.Nigel Wrench, 47, who is a regular presenter of the radio station's flagship evening news programme PM invited the man back to see his art collection and sit in on his show, the court was told.The Old Bailey heard that Mr Wrench snorted cocaine with the 26-year-old man and then poured him a glass of champagne, which made him feel "not at all well."

  • Minister questioned at LGBT education conference 8

    Mr Brennan stressed that professional organisations such as teaching unions have a role to play.

    5:35 PM — A junior education minister defended the government's new guidance on homophobic bullying at last weekend's Schools OUT conference.Kevin Brennan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, told an audience of around 100 who packed into London's Drill Hall that the new guidance was a major step forward."While we cannot force a positive attitude through law or through a policy, however robust, you have to have an environment, and schools must promote an environment, based on respect," he said.

  • Speaker calls for transparency on MPs allowances 31

    177 other MPs, among them 95 Labour MPs, two members of the Cabinet, and 75 Tories, employ members of their family using tax payers money.

    4:40 PM — The Speaker of the House of Commons has urged MPs from all sides to move quickly to reform of the allowances system.A meeting of the Members' Estimates Committee is to consider new rules, including a ban on employing relatives with public funds.Speaker Michael Martin, a member of the committee, made a statement to MPs this afernoon. "We must take fully into account the public interest in transparency," he said.

  • Get walking to fight hate crime

    The Brighton Equality Walk is one of the highlights of Stonewall's year.

    4:01 PM — Preparations are underway for a major gay day out in Brighton during the May bank holiday.Gay and lesbian stars will join hundreds of others on a fundraising walk in the popular seaside resort.The 5th Annual Equality Walk is a demonstration of solidarity against hate crime, a nice day out, a good bit of exercise and an opportunity to do a bit of star-spotting. The 10k walk begins from the Pavilion Gardens at 2pm on Sunday May 4th.

  • Gay Holocaust memorial to be built in Berlin 3

    As well as an estimated six million Jews, hundreds of thousands of Roma people died in Nazi concentration camps.

    3:50 PM — A multi-media memorial to the thousands of gay men who died in Nazi concentration camps should be ready in a matter of months.It is being constructed opposite the main Holocaust memorial for Jewish victims in Tiergarten Park in Berlin at a cost of 600,000 euros (£450,000).The government agreed to the design last week, four years after the memorial was agreed in principle.

  • NHS surrogates may be used by gay couples

    It is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain.

    3:14 PM — A Primary Care Trust in England is considering an application for funds to pay for a surrogate mother to have a baby for an infertile couple.While it is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain, North East Essex PCT is considering paying up to £15,000 in 'expenses' to carry a baby to full-term, which is allowed under the law.However, the option is at present only under consideration by one of the 152 PCTs in England.

  • Human rights group condemns Jamaica violence 28

    The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, brought the most recent attack to wider attention.

    2:40 PM — A leading US-based rights organisation has said that the latest incident of homophobic mob violence in Jamaica shows that the police in the Caribbean nation are failing in their duties.Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch, said: "Gays and lesbians in Jamaica face violence at home, in public, even in a house of worship, and official silence encourages the spread of hate."The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, brought the most recent attack to wider attention.

  • Super Tuesday could decide the 2008 Presidential race 7

    A clear victory tomorrow for any of the four major candidates still in contention will almost guarantee them their party's nomination.

    2:20 PM — Tomorrow Democrats, Republicans and Independents in 24 US states will take part in the biggest vote before the Presidential election in November.At a series of caucuses and primaries across America, 41% of the pledged delegates for the Republican convention and 52% of the votes at the Democratic convention will fall behind one of the candidates still in the race.No wonder they call it Super Tuesday.

  • Boles donates money to Boris campaign 7

    Mr Boles was a strongly-tipped candidate for the Tory nomination for Mayor of London, but withdrew in July when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

    1:45 PM — A leading gay Tory has donated £20,000 to the campaign to elect Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.Nick Boles was the frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer.Now it has emerged that he is among a list of donors to Boris' campaign, alongside property developers, hedge fund managers, lobbyists and art dealers.

  • Florida will vote on same-sex marriage ban

    Florida4Marriage.org's question on the 2008 ballot follows an amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.

    1:00 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state will be voted on in November. It was the only one of more than fifty proposed ballots to get the required 611,009 signatures.A state constitutional amendment requires the approval of 8 percent of Florida voters who cast ballots in the last Presidential election.All signatures must be presented to state officials on February 1st at 5pm. The gay marriage ban ballot was certified with 649,346 signatures.

  • Ambassador complains to Vatican about election statement 13

    The rift between church and government in Spain shows no signs of healing.

    12:35 PM — Spain's ambassador to the Vatican met with Church officials over the weekend to protest about interference in the country's elections by the country's bishops.Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos revealed on Saturday that Ambassador Francisco Vazquez expressed his "perplexity and surprise" at statement issued last week by the Spanish Bishop's Conference.The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

  • Apology to gay community over MRSA story 1

    Though staph infections are treatable in many cases, MRSA can be serious enough to force amputation of infected limbs.

    12:10 PM — Over the last few weeks, the subject of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) has hit the media, making a big impact in the gay community.Several reputable news agencies including the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle published detailed studies about the spread of the disease between men who have homosexual relations.The 'superbug' does have a higher rate of infection among men who have sex with men.

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