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March 2008

  • 12th March 2008

    Darling hits bars and cars in first budget

    Alistair Darling hit booze in his first budget

    2:30 PM — The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling delivered his budget earlier today.Among other measures, he announced an increase in duty on alcohol and high polluting cars.Like the rest of the drinking industry, the gay scene will be hit by a six per cent increase in alcohol tax with a two percent rise each year until 2012.

  • Little Britain and Tracey Emin raise funds for THT 1

    A walk on part in Little Britain USA raised £9,000 for THT.

    12:02 PM — The Lighthouse Gala Auction raised more than £200,000 for HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust on Monday night.A walk on part in Little Britain USA raised £9,000 and Tracey Emin's neon 'I promise to love you' raised £26,000.Tony Blair's last party conference speech as Prime Minister made £4,200.Now in its 12th year the auction, sponsored by Barclays, was attended by high profile supporters.

  • EU criticised over ‘pass the parcel’ asylum policy 21

    EU leaders gave a pledge that they would have a common asylum system which fully respected the UN Refugee Convention.

    11:44 AM — A London MEP has called for an end to the "shameful shuffling" of gay and other asylum-seekers between EU member states.Tomorrow the European Parliament will vote on an emergency resolution calling for an Iranian teenager currently in Holland not to be sent back to the UK.19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Gay bishop rejects restricted invite to Lambeth 1

    Some bishops have reportedly threatened to boycott the conference due to the way Robinson has been treated.

    11:20 AM — Bishop V. Gene Robinson has announced he will not officially participate in a planned summer conference of world Anglican leaders.He declined an invitation to events at the once-a-decade Lambeth conference this summer because of restrictions organisers placed on him if he were to appear.Robinson said the limited offer caused him "considerable pain" and he would reject the "non-offer" to be part of the conference.

  • Obama victorious in Mississippi 1

    Obama currently leads Clinton by about 100 delegates and is expected to strengthen that lead with his win in Mississippi.

    11:10 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama increased his growing lead over rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton with a win in the Mississippi primary results yesterday.Obama was strongly favoured to win, largely due to the high percentage of black Democratic voters in the state.Clinton virtually conceded the state to Obama before voting even began and has shifted her focus to the upcoming battle for the Pennsylvania primary.

  • 11th March 2008

    Gay peer speaks out against deportations to Iran 21

    Lord Alli is one of only two openly gay peers.

    6:10 PM — A gay member of the House of Lords has demanded the government take action to stop a gay teenager being deported back to Iran where he could face the death penalty.Today it was revealed that 19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi, who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland, will be deported back to the UK.He had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Manchester police lose chief constable 1

    Mr Todd became Chief Constable in 2002. He was previously an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan police.

    5:45 PM — A police chief known for being gay friendly has died. As Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police, Mike Todd was in charge of the service when they joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme.Manchester, the second-largest police force in the UK, was last year was placed joint 43rd on the list of top 100 employers for gay people in the Stonewall Work Equality Index.The city is home to one of the largest gay scenes in England.

  • Iranian gay teen loses appeal against deportation to the UK 22

    The United Kingdom sent a formal request to Holland asking for Medhi's return to Britain, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.

    4:55 PM — A 19-year-old gay man from Iran who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland will be deported back to the UK, according to gay rights activists connected with his case.Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.He faces possible execution by stoning if he returns to Iran. Activists have pledged to take his case the EU courts.

  • Prodi to step down from Italian politics

    Mr Prodi served as President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004.

    3:50 PM — Romano Prodi has announced that he is "finished" with politics in Italy.He has served twice as Prime Minister and heads the interim government in place until the country holds a general election next month.Mr Prodi, who also served as President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, lost the support of parliament in January after a nine-party coalition government he was leading fell apart.

  • Tribunal hearing over civil partnerships on forms 11

    Mr McQuade, 49, a communications officer with the force, said that no slur was intended on the gay community.

    3:45 PM — An employment tribunal has ruled that a Catholic couple from Scotland can pursue their claim of sexual and religious discrimination against Strathclyde Police over its definition of the term 'marital status.'Devout Catholics Lucille and Frank McQuade claim that Scotland's largest police force is guilty of religious discrimination after altering its civilian employee records to change their status from "married" to "married/civil partnership."Mr McQuade, 49, a communications officer with the force, said that no slur was intended on the gay community.

  • JK Rowling: Homophobia is a fear of people loving 7

    The 42-year-old seven-series saga about the boy wizard has made her an estimated £545m.

    3:15 PM — The author of the best-selling Harry Potter novels has given a wide-ranging interview to a student newspaper in which she defends her gay character Albus Dumbledore.JK Rowling also spoke out against fundamentalist Christians in the United States who are trying to ban her work.Speaking to Edinburgh University's Student newspaper Rowling, whose successful series of novels have made her the richest women in Britain, defended her decision to out Dumbledore last year.

  • Republican refuses to apologise for homophobic speech 10

    The YouTube video posted this weekend by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays.

    1:30 PM — Oklahoma state politician Sally Kern is under fire after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and telling fellow Republicans the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."The recording and accompanying YouTube video have sparked outrage from many, but Kern defends her words, telling the press: "What I'm saying, I believe in."The YouTube video posted this weekend by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays.

  • Obama dismisses talk of Vice Presidency

    Obama is not so taken with the thought of playing second fiddle to Clinton.

    1:22 PM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama yesterday firmly rejected the idea he would be willing to sign on as Vice President for Hillary Clinton.Obama's response comes after hints from Clinton that she would be willing to consider sharing a ticket with him in the November election."I don't know how somebody who is in second place is offering the Vice presidency to someone in first place," Obama said.

  • Democrat infighting may help McCain to the White House

    20% of white Democratic voters would vote for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

    1:10 PM — The Democrats' dilemma over choosing a nominee might just be John McCain's ace in the hole.The highly publicised description of Hillary Clinton as "a monster" capable of "stooping to anything" to win by Barack Obama foreign policy advisor Samantha Powers merely underscores the intensity of the growing discord between Clinton and Obama supporters as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination lumbers forward.Moreover, it is perhaps a powerful omen of the great divide that the Democratic Party's eventual nominee will have to bridge.

  • Baywatch star praised for coming out 2

    It is estimated that one billion people in 142 countries tuned in to watch Simmons play Australian lifeguard Logan Fowler in Baywatch.

    12:50 PM — Jaason Simmons, known to millions across the world as hunky lifeguard Logan Fowler in beach soap opera Baywatch, has come out to an Australian magazine.The 37-year-old actor plans to marry his partner, Irish actor John O'Callaghan.The couple, who have been together for eight months, have also adopted a six-year-old Ugandan boy. The decision to go public about their relationship has been praised by gay rights advocates.

  • Mehdi’s deportation to be raised in Euro Parliament 21

    Cashman, who is one of only two out gay MEPs, co-initiated the resolution on behalf of the Socialist Group in the Parliament.

    12:30 PM — MEP Michael Cashman has said he will raise the case of Mehdi Kazemi in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.The 19-year-old Iranian is currently being held in Holland and is fighting legal moves to return him to the UK, where he is likely to face deportation to his homeland.He had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Gay hate preacher attacks Steps star 10

    Stephen Green is best-known as the head of anti-gay lobby group Christian Voice.

    12:20 PM — The controversial fundamentalist Christian Stephen Green has compared Steps singer H to mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.Green, who is notorious for his protests at gay Pride events, was taking part in BBC Wales current affairs programme, Week In, Week Out. While being interviewed by H, also known as Ian Watkins, Green called him vile and said he would pray for him.

  • Lesbian sex guide launched in Manchester 1

    The Beating About The Bush guide and the safer sex leaflet are both available now to download free.

    11:59 AM — One of the UK's leading gay charities will be supplying free lube and a safer sex leaflet to women in Manchester.The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) has also launched Beating About The Bush, a 32-page sex guide and lesbian and bisexual women's safer sex leaflet.LGF is a health-based community charity based in Manchester working to "end homophobia and empower people."

  • I am not gay says Welsh Olympian

    Cardiff-born Jackson won a silver medal in the 110m Hurdles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.  photo: UK Sport

    11:45 AM — Former Olympic athlete Colin Jackson has denied he is gay, but said he does not mind what people say about him.Jackson, 41, told The Voice newspaper that persistent rumours about his sexuality are "strange and bizarre."The former hurdler appeared on BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 and 2006.He has just released a book, Life's New Hurdles. He won a silver medal in the 100m Hurdles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

  • New London route for 10K Crusaid walk

    The new 10 kilometre route will snake through London, taking in landmarks including the London Eye. photo: txd@flickr.com

    11:15 AM — Crusaid's Walk for Life has announced a new and improved route for this years event.The sponsored walk, which last year raised £375,000, supports poor and marginalised people affected by HIV and AIDS in the UK and Africa.Europe's largest fundraising walk for HIV kicks off at the Event Village, based at Potters Fields Park, on the 1st June. The new 10 kilometre route will snake through London.

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