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April 2008

  • 2nd April 2008

    Boris Johnson rejects BNP support 13

    Mr Johnson, who is leading incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone in the polls, has been criticised by prominent black Londoners.

    3:50 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has slammed the British National Party after they told their supporters to choose him as their second preference candidate on May 1st."I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter," said Boris Johnson.Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, told PinkNews.co.uk: "The BNP obviously recognise Boris' reputation for causing offence and creating division."

  • Gays embrace innovative car rental schemes

    City Car Club has doubled in size and there are now around 6,000 members across the UK. photo: everdaylifemodern@flickr.com

    3:20 PM — Car Club schemes, a service popular among the gay community, have today been given support from Green Party candidate for Mayor of London Sian Berry.According to company City Car Club, a large amount of gay and lesbian drivers are signing up to the scheme, where members rent the use of a car by the hour.City Car Club has a fleet of more than 300 cars. It claims that once signed up to the scheme members cut down on unnecessary car journeys by as much as 35%.

  • Thailand joins gay blood ban 2

    France, Russia and South Africa have recently lifted the blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

    2:00 PM — The Thai Red Cross Society has decided to reject blood donations from homosexual men in a move which has met with strong opposition from human rights organisations.It said it had large amounts of unused blood that had tested HIV-positive.Most of the infected blood was reportedly from men who were having unprotected sex with other men, according the director of the National Blood Centre, Soisaang Pikulsod. Thailand is not the first country to ban gay men from donating blood.

  • Military u-turn over lesbian Congresswoman’s partner

    Ms Baldwin, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1999, has declined to comment on the story.

    1:45 PM — The US Secretary of Defence has intervened after a lesbian Congresswoman's partner was barred from accompanying her on a military aircraft during an official trip.It is reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, phoned Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ask him to intervene.Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin's second district, is the only openly gay woman in Congress.

  • Irish civil partnerships to exclude parental rights 3

    In December Ireland's Justice Minister Brian Lenihan rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    1:05 PM — Gay rights groups in Ireland have expressed disappointment that the government may not extend parental rights to same-sex couples as part of new legislation to legally recognise lesbian and gay relationships.On Monday MarriagEquality, a group formed to campaign for full civil marriage, released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.

  • Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples 1

    The government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is opposed to same-sex marriage.

    12:45 PM — Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.

  • Gay and lesbian groups awarded equality grants

    The EHRC came into being last year and this is its first grants programme.

    12:25 PM — Ethnic minority and LGBT groups are among 286 organisations who have been awarded grants by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.The Equality Act 2006 allows the EHRC to give financial assistance to organisations concerned with promoting equality and diversity, good relations and human rights.Stonewall, the Bristol Lesbian Gay Bisexual Forum, the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations and The Lesbian and Gay Foundation are among the recipients.

  • Gay MEP worried about EU discrimination directive 2

    Mr Cashman is a Labour MEP. He leads the European Parliament's LGBT Inter-Group.

    12:01 PM — A British Member of the European Parliament has spoken of his concerns that there is a lack of commitment to gay rights from the European Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso.Michael Cashman, who represents the West Midlands, has voiced his concern over reports that the Commission is backtracking on its commitment to tackle discrimination."Barroso gave the Parliament assurances that it would bring forward a Directive to combat discrimination on the remaining grounds of Article 13," said Mr Cashman.

  • Dutch MP questions deportation of gay teenager to UK 2

    Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government.

    11:30 AM — A social-liberal MP in Holland has secured a debate in the country's parliament about Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager who is due for deportation back to the UK.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government that Mr Kazemi will be allowed to remain in the UK.If he is returned to Iran he claims he faces execution.

  • 1st April 2008

    Start your engines for the gay rally across Europe 1

    The rally covers some 2300 miles across Europe and starts in Brighton. photo: joeshabotlik@flickr.com

    6:15 PM — A two thousand mile motor rally celebrating gay diversity will kick off in late June, the first race of its kind.The inaugural Rainbow Rampage takes place from June 28th to July 4th, is a twist on a traditional motor rally and more akin to a giant gay road trip.The rally downplays the racing aspect and is designed more to celebrate the cities that stretch along the race's route, some 2300 miles across Europe.

  • Obama’s £1,000 a head gay fundraiser

    The event was significant because former First Lady Clinton has more support in the gay community than Senator Obama.

    5:30 PM — US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised funds for his campaign at an LGBT event last week, where the price of admission was $2,300 (£1,160).The fundraiser was held at the New York apartment of gay activist Kevin Jennings and his partner and 125 people attended, The Advocate reports.More than $170,000 was raised and the candidate spoke for around half an hour and then answered questions.

  • More gays need to put themselves forward says Tory 28

    Ms James was number 17 in the PinkNews.co.uk list of the 50 most influential LGBT people in British politics.

    5:00 PM — Margot James, the Conservative candidate for the constituency of Stourbridge, has responded to a survey from Stonewall about perceived prejudice in the party against gay, lesbian and bisexuals who want to run for Parliament.Ms James said that in her experience as a lesbian, she has experienced no prejudice from party members, but quite a lot from the press."Gay people have to move on a bit," she told PinkNews.co.uk.

  • Online gay museum to be launched this month

    roud Heritage is the online national museum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and cultural ancestry.

    2:35 PM — A series of public events on Monday 14th April will mark the launch of an online, interactive museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans history.The Natural History Museum's Earth Gallery and Flett Theatre will host an unveiling of Proud Heritage, followed by a "no-holds barred and intimate interview" with gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, followed by questions from the audience.At the public event Proud Heritage will set out its future plans and unveil its first public phase.

  • Gay hate church gets taste of own medicine 2

    Kansas joined 16 other states in introducing local legislation to bar the hate group's activities.

    2:15 PM — More than 400 people converged on the small town of Topeka, Kansas on Sunday to protest outside the Westboro Baptist Church.Straight, gay and trans protesters drew support from locals as they staged The Million Fag March outside the church, which is notorious for picketing the funerals of US soldiers killed in action."It's about time we did something like this again," local woman Hope Prescott told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "We feel somewhat responsible for the Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church."

  • LGBT Labour defend party’s record on gay candidates 28

    Labour MP Angela Eagle, a junior minister, is the only openly lesbian woman in the UK Parliament.

    1:50 PM — A group within the Labour party that pushes for equality for lesbian, gay bisexual and trans people has responded to a survey from Stonewall.A poll of more than 1,600 LGB people found that 61% think they would face barriers from the party because of their sexual orientation if they wanted to be selected to run for parliament.89% said the same about the Conservatives and 47% about the Liberal Democrats. 46% of Labour supporter thought they would face barriers if they wanted to stand for Parliament.

  • Pension victory for same-sex partners at Euro court 5

    The court ruled that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.

    12:03 PM — Gay and lesbian activists today welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg on the rights of same-sex partners to 'survivor pensions.'The court ruled that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.The insurer had rejected his claim to the allowance of €6,400 (£4,330) on the grounds they only make such payments to spouses and not registered partners.

  • War of words between gay bashing politician and PFLAG 10

    In her short time in the House Kern has built a reputation for homophobia.

    11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met with last week.Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. Jim Shields of PFLAG last Thursday.

  • Poet accused of sexual exploitation is “like Wilde” 2

    The poet's Irish language works are taught at Leaving Certificate, the equivalent of A Level.

    11:30 AM — An Irish poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal has given an interview.Speaking on the Irish language station Raidio na Gaeltachta, Cathal O'Searcaigh said he was the victim of a biased documentary, but admitted sexual contact with some of the young men he was finanically aiding.Speaking about the storm of criticism he has faced from the Irish media, he compared himself to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.

  • Equality body will prioritise sexual orientation cases

    The EHRC has a special position among public authorities as these duties are identical to its own remit.

    11:00 AM — The Equality and Human Rights Commission has unveiled its first single equality scheme with a committment to prioritise legal cases in new areas of equality such as sexual orientation, in order to build case law.As a public body the EHRC is legally required to address gender, disability and race.The new scheme will also cover age, sexual orientation, religion or belief and human rights.

  • Gay people expect discrimination in all walks of life 28

    1,600 LGB people took part in the online survey by YouGov, the web polling company's first survey of the gay population.

    12:01 AM — A new survey released today by Stonewall has found that gay, bisexual and lesbian people think that everyone from public services to political parties treat them less favourably because of their sexuality.1,600 LGB people took part in the online survey by YouGov, the web polling company's first survey of the gay population.The results paint a depressing picture of perceived prejudice in Britain.

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