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Author photoBenjamin Cohen

Benjamin Cohen founded PinkNews.co.uk in 2005 and was editor until 2006. He was technology correspondent at Channel 4 News between 2006 and 2012.

  • 21st December 2005

    Schoolboy takes Jersey to European Court over gay age of consent

    European states are required under the European Convention on Human Rights to end discrimination based on sexuality

    12:00 AM — A schoolboy is taking Jersey to the European Court of Human Rightsover the fact that the island has different ages of consent for gaysand straights.Luke Small, a sixteen year old from St Brelade has lodged the casewith the Strasbourg based court.Politicians in Jersey announced earlier this year that they wereconsidering equalising the age of consent for gays and straights.

  • Lesbian vicar marries partner in joint ceremony in Brighton

    Rev Gaston said: “God is so central to our lives and our relationship“

    12:00 AM — Three gay couples have simultaneously married in Brighton's first gay civil partnership ceremonies.The seaside resort is known as 'Britain's gay capital' thanks to its liberal approach to sexuality and the multitude of gay men and women that have moved to the local area.The first three couples included local vicar, the Rev Debbie Gaston girl friend of 16 years Elaine Gaston.

  • 20th December 2005

    Elton John and David Furnish enjoy wild stag party 3

    Guests were  treated to a saucy strip from former Blue front man Lee Ryan

    12:00 AM — Sir Elton John and his fiancé David Furnish held a star studded joint stag night in Soho on Monday evening.The singer arrived at the newly opened Too2Much cabaret nightclub in Soho in a turquoise suite whilst Mr Furnish opted for a sparkly black coat.Guests were treated to a saucy strip from former Blue front man Lee Ryan as well as topless waiters.

  • 19th December 2005

    Western Isles becomes only place in Britain to ban gay marriages

    Councillors on the idyllic Isles votes to impose a blanked ban on gay weddings

    12:00 AM — The Western Isles (Eilean Siar) are to become the only part of Britain to ban gay marriages after local councillors and registrars agreed to a boycott.Registrars are permitted under the Civil Partnership Act to refuse to conduct a ceremony on moral grounds. But councillors in Stornoway have voted to force the Isles to become the only place in Britain with a blanket ban on all gay ceremonies.

  • Gay couple defy Christian protesters to wed in Northern Ireland

    Protestors from the Rev Ian Paisley's Free Presbyterian Church told the couple: “do not be deceived, homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    12:00 AM — A lesbian couple have become the first gay partners to tie the knot in a regular ceremony in Britain following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act. Christian protestors fail to prevent ceremony from taking place.Grainne Close, a social worker from Belfast, and Shannon Sickels, a playwright from New York City became the first couple in the United Kingdom to marry in a regular ceremony.

  • 15th December 2005

    Gay couple claim to have lost £6000 in benefits since Civil Partnerships introduced 57

    A spokeswoman for John Hutton, said thatt gay couples will be treated in the same way as straight couples

    12:00 AM — A gay couple from Kent claim that the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act has meant a reduction in their level of state benefits of over £6000 per year.Andrew Brettell, 63 and his 44-year-old partner have cohabited for 18 years and have held a joint mortgage since 1989.Mr Brettell claims that ill health has meant he receives a pension credit.

  • Sir Elton and David Furnish face £10,000 policing bill for wedding

    Sir Elton said that his love for his partner David “doesn't come with a price tag”

    12:00 AM — Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish face a £10,000 bill to cover the policing of their gay wedding next week.The pop star and his film producer boyfriend David Furnish have been in a relationship for tweleve years and are planning a relatively low-key ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. The hall was the venue for one of the year's key weddings; the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

  • Lesbian appointed Conservative vice-chairman 2

    Margot James has been appointed party vice-chairman with overall responsibility for women's issues

    12:00 AM — Conservative leader David Cameron has appointed his party's first openly lesbian candidate his new vice-chairman.Margot James, a Chelsea based millionaire businesswoman became the first openly lesbian woman to stand as a Conservative candidate when she contested the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancreas at the last general electionMiss James is in a long-term relationship with girlfriend, Jay Hunt, 38, host of the BBC makeover programme Would Like To Meet.

  • 14th December 2005

    Teen gang convicted of manslaughter of gay barman 2

    The 17 year old youth told police: “at the time I thought it was funny“

    12:00 AM — A teenage girl who asked a gay barman to "pose for the camera" before she filmed her friends kicking him to death, was today found guilty of manslaughter.The girl who can not be named for legal reasons and her co-defendants Reece Sargeant, 21, Darren Case, 18, a youth; aged 17, and the girl, aged 15 were found guilty of the manslaughter of the gay barman David Morley. They were also convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

  • Gay ex-minister Stephen Twigg arrested for drunkenness

    Mr Twigg said: “it's very embarrassing. I feel like an idiot.“

    12:00 AM — Stephen Twigg, the openly gay former education minister has been fined £50 after being arrested for drunken behaviour.Mr Twigg, was the first openly gay President of the National Union of Students and the first MP to have been elected as an out gay man. He lost his Enfield Southgate seat at the last election, but is hoping to return to Parliament in the very near future as one of Labour's preferred parliamentary candidates.

  • 13th December 2005

    Transsexual killer convicted of attempted rape has sentence reduced 6

    The Court of Appeal ruled that despite her serious crimes, Lawson should not be jailed forever

    12:00 AM — A transsexual who was convicted of attempting to rape a shop assistant just days after being released from prison for killing her lover, has had her sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.Karen Lawson, aged 24, was known as Mark Jones prior to a sex change operation pleaded guilty to attempted rape in Bolton Crown Court in July of 2003.

  • 12th December 2005

    Diana fancied gay pop star George Michael- singer claims

    George Michael said the Princess of Wales was “very attracted to him”

    12:00 AM — The late Princess Diana was obsessed with gay pop star George Michael according to claims make this week by the singer.The pop star has alleged that the Princess of Wales was "very attracted to him" and that they nearly got into a physical relationship.Mr Michael said: "there were certain things that happened that made it clear she was very attracted to me. There was no question."

  • 8th December 2005

    AIDs campaigner found dead after abduction in Jamaica 1

    Police are continuing to investigate the whereabouts of the four assailants

    12:00 AM — A Jamaican AIDs activist was abducted and murdered by gunmen on theeve on Worlds Aids Day, it emerged this week.Police in the Caribbean Island confirmed that least four assailantsforced their way into home of Steve Harvey (30) when he returned fromwork around 1 a.m. They tied up him and two people staying with him,before stealing a number of their possessions, and then abducting the activist in his company car.

  • Gay Conservative appointed Shadow Trade Industry Secretary

    Mr Duncan is seen regularly out on the London gay scene

    12:00 AM — The Conservatives' first openly gay MP has been appointed the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade Industry and shadow cabinet member responsibility for equality.Alan Duncan, the 48 year old MP for Rutland Melton was handed the Trade Industry portfolio following the reshuffle carried out afterDavid Cameron's election as leader of the Conservative Party and Her Majesty's Opposition.

  • 7th December 2005

    First man to hold a gay marriage in Britain dies 1

    Mr Roche told reporters: “I really, really needed to get married” shortly before his death

    12:00 AM — A terminally ill cancer sufferer who was given permission to wed his partner in a gay wedding ceremony on Monday has died.Matthew Roche, 46, died on Tuesday 6th December at St Barnabas Hospice in Worthing, West Sussex, just a day his and his partner, Christopher Cramp held their partnership ceremony in the hospice.The Civil Partnership Act normally requires a 15-day waiting period between the application for a partnership and the ceremony.

  • 6th December 2005

    Robbie Williams receives damages over claims he is secretly gay 8

    Mr William's barrister, Tom Shields QC, told the court that the singer “is not, and has never been, homosexual”

    12:00 AM — Pop star, Robbie Williams has accepted substantial libel damages from the publishers of the People Newspaper and the publishers of the Daily Star over claims that he is secretly gay.The claims that we made in the People newspaper, Star and Hot Stars Magazine in 2004 claimed that the former Take That star had engaged in casual gay sex.Mr William's barrister, Tom Shields QC, told the court that the singer "is not, and has never been, homosexual."

  • Green Party calls for more awareness of gay benefits changes

    The Green Party's Nigel Tart called for a grace period before benefits are changed

    12:00 AM — The Green Party today urged for greater awareness of the changes in the benefits system that the Civil Partnerships Act has brought in.Following yesterday's introduction of the Civil Partnership Act, most cohabiting same-sex couples that claim state benefits will experience a reduction in the amount of money they receive.

  • 5th December 2005

    British couples get ready to hold gay wedding ceremonies

    Britain will see 4500 gay weddings over the next few months

    12:00 AM — Couples the length and breadth of Britain today made the first steps to cementing their relationships under the Civil Partnerships Act.The Civil Partnership Act, which came into force today, will allow gay couples to register their relationship in a civil ceremony and receive the vast majority of the rights that straight married couples receive. However, unlike a wedding, churches and other places of worship can refuse to allow their members to hold a ceremony on their property.

  • 4th December 2005

    Britain’s gay marriage scheme is “sexual apartheid” say human rights group 5

    Gay rights group OutRage! said today that the Civil Partnerships Scheme is “welcome, but flawed”

    12:00 AM — Gay rights group OutRage! said today that the Civil Partnerships Scheme is "welcome, but flawed". The group called for same-sex marriages.The Civil Partnership Act that comes into force on December 5th 2005, will allow gay weddings in all but name. However, OutRage!, led by human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell said that Britain operates a "sexual apartheid" system of marriage.

  • 30th November 2005

    Gay Soap star attacked by homophobic gang 1

    Anthony Cotton was surrounded by a gang of eight teens

    12:00 AM — Soap star Anthony Cotton was rescued by minders on Thursday after he was allegedly attacked by a homophobic gang.The Daily Mirror claims that Mr Cotton, who plays gay factory worker and barman Sean Tully in Coronation Street, was surrounded by a gang of eight teens outside the set of the hit soap.A witness described the attack in the Daily Mirror: "These lads looked like serious trouble. They homed in on poor Anthony for whatever reason. They were like a pack of animals.

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