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Author photoTony Grew

Tony Grew edited PinkNews.co.uk between 2007 and 2009. He now edits ePolitix.com

  • 25th January 2007

    Catholic adoption opt-out ruled out 1

    Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, who is gay, said the compromise, which has Cabinet backing, is a sensible one.

    10:01 AM — Adoption agencies run by the Roman Catholic Church will have to consider gay couples as potential parents or close down, it has emerged.After meeting with MPs and the Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair has bowed to strong criticism from his own party over a suggested exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Catholic providers of adoption services.

  • 24th January 2007

    No 10 website hosts anti gay-rights petition 1

    As reported by PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, another popular petition on the Prime Minister's official site is one calling on him to sack controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    5:24 PM — Gay rights activists have expressed concern that one of the most popular petitions on the Prime Minister's official website is anti-gay.The website hosts a facility for members of the public to create a petition topic and invite others to sign up.One such petition calling on the government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

  • Labour leadership candidate pledges support for gay adoption 1

    The 55-year-old left-wing MP has voted positively in every one of the 14 divisions relating to gay equality held since 1997.

    3:31 PM — John McDonnell, the only Labour MP to have publicly confirmed he will stand for party leader once Tony Blair departs, has criticised the attitude of the Christian churches towards gay adoption.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr McDonnell branded Christian objectors as primitive.He called on his party to stand firm in the face of calls for exemptions for Catholic adoption agencies.

  • Brit pop star won’t say which way he swings 9

    Mika, real name Mica Penniman, was educated at the exclusive Westminster School, where politician of the moment Ruth Kelly also studied.

    12:12 PM — He is the toast of the music industry, and his hit song Grace Kelly sits at the top of the singles chart, but no matter how many times journalists ask, he won't tell.Beirut-born pop crooner Mika is keeping mum about his sexual orientation.Some commentators have judged that a smart move for any artist aspiring to a career in America.

  • Blairs blamed for cabinet split over gay rights 5

    Like Ms Kelly, Mrs Blair is a practising Roman Catholic, and the Blair's two eldest sons attended an exclusive Church school.

    10:10 AM — The Independent newspaper is reporting that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie is responsible for the row in cabinet over the delay in the introduction of gay rights legislation.Meanwhile Alan Johnson, who had responsibility for overseeing the Sexual Orientation Regulations while he was Trade and Industry Secretary, is reported to have told MPs that the exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies is being actively supported by the Prime Minister.

  • Anglicans back Catholics in adoption row 3

    Archbishop of York John Sentamu pointed out to the Prime Minister that there are already exemptions in the provision of services on the grounds of conscience or belief. photo: Jeff Jones

    9:44 AM — The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.In the letter the Archbishops, the most senior clergy in the Church of England, tell Mr Blair that, "the rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning."Their intervention is in support of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

  • 23rd January 2007

    Jail for passing on sexually transmitted diseases 1

    THT are concerned that the current prosecutions policy is restigmatising HIV “at a rate of knots.“

    10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service is to target people who knowingly pass on STDs, with some being sent to prison.The new approach is due to be announced by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald soon, reports The Evening Standard. Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed concern about the reported new policy.

  • Cardinal asks politicians for adoption opt-out

    “Marital love involves an essential complementarity (sic) of male and female.“ photo: archdiocese of westminster

    10:22 AM — The row over a possible exemption for the Catholic Church from new laws to protect gay people from discrimination intensified yesterday as a senior cleric weighed into the debate.Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has chosen the high risk strategy of openly threatening to close adoption agencies in England and Wales rather than let gay or lesbian people make use of them.

  • Charities query proposed Brighton AIDS memorial

    Councillor Paul Elgood, the Mayor of Brighton, with James Ledward at the launch of the planned AIDS memorial.

    10:22 AM — The UK's largest HIV health organisation is questioning plans for a permanent AIDS memorial in Brighton.Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) South says that the community has not been consulted properly and that the £20,000 bill for the memorial - currently being raised by local businesses and customers - could be better spent."There needs to be much greater community discussion," says Perry French from THT South.

  • Oscar nominations for a very British Queen

    The film follows the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, from the perspective of Queen Elizabeth II.

    10:22 AM — Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench have been nominated for Best Actress at this year's Oscars.The 79th Academy Awards ceremony in February will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres, the first time an out gay performer has presented the most prestigious movie event in the Hollywood calendar.Mirren is honoured for her performance in The Queen. 

  • 22nd January 2007

    Human rights group tell Tatchell to back off

    Mr Tatchell concluded that better communication is needed in the international LGBTI movement.

    2:00 PM — Calls last week from gay rights group OutRage! to pile international pressure on the Nigerian government have been blasted as unhelpful and counterproductive by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch.On Friday, Peter Tatchell urged gay and lesbian people to contact the Nigerian goverment to show their opposition to draconian new laws aimed at outlawing same-sex marriage and restricting other gay rights.

  • Eagle speaks out against the “very, very few”

    Ms Eagle refused to comment on reports that there was a row between Prime Minister Tony Blair and MPs at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last Wednesday.

    1:39 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The vice-chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party has said that "very, very few" of the party's MPs want a change to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Angela Eagle, the MP for Wallasey, spoke out after the Independent on Sunday reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to allow adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church to turn away gay or lesbian couples.

  • Gay MPs lambast Kelly opt-out

    Mr Bryant, a former Anglican priest, said that although other churches and faith groups run adpotion agencies, “I have not heard of any other religions are asking for an exemption.“

    11:15 AM — Labour politicians and gay rights activists have responded to press reports that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to grant exemptions to the new Equality Act.The Independent on Sunday reported that Kelly wants to give Roman Catholic adoption agencies an opt-out from the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

  • Ruth Kelly in new row over gay adoption

    It is thought that Tony Blair supports Ms Kelly over the exemptions from the SOR for Catholic adoption agencies.

    10:10 AM — Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has ignited another cabinet row over the Sexual Orientation Regulations.The new rules, which protect gay, bisexual and lesbian people in England and Wales from discrimination when accessing goods and services, are due to come into force in April.It emerged over the weekend that Kelly and Prime Minister Tony Blair want to exempt Roman Catholic adoption agencies from the regulations.

  • 19th January 2007

    Tutu stands up for gays 2

    Dr Tutu told journalists that gay hate was the same as racism. photo: Benny Gool

    5:12 PM — Legendary anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged his fellow Anglicans to focus on the problems facing Africa and stop obsessing over gay issues.Dr Tutu told a conference in Nairobi that the God he worships does not consider the position of homosexual clergy to be more important that AIDS.The former Archbishop of Cape Town is attending the World Social Forum in Kenya.

  • Prescott reveals a fear of gays 2

    Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights lobby Stonewall, was clear that he for one does not think Mr Prescott was being anti-gay.

    4:36 PM — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has spoken to BBC Radio 4 about his days as a merchant seaman, and revealed that he was uncomfortable sharing a cabin with gay crew.The 68-year-old, who is due to stand down as Labour party deputy leader later this year, worked as a steward on the Cunard Line in the 1950's.A documentary about his time at sea, called Prescott At Your Service, has been made by the BBC radio station.

  • Matthew Shepard’s mum nominated for award

    Anyone can vote for Judy Shepard and the foundation at www.volvoforlifeawards.com

    4:13 PM — Gay activists in America are urging people across the world to vote for Judy Shepard, who has been chosen as a finalist in the fifth "Volvo For Life" awards.Mrs Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew.

  • Network steps into F word row, actor apologises 4

    An online petition sent to bosses at ABC asked the network to fire Washington, and was signed by over 9,000 people.  photo: ABC

    11:51 AM — ABC television has issued a rebuke to Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington for using the word faggot in public.And in yet another twist, Washington has apologised for the second time for his use of the offensive word.An online petition sent to bosses at ABC asked the network to fire Washington, and was signed by over 9,000 people.

  • Gay director pleads not guilty

    Van Sant has used Oregon as the setting for several of his films.

    10:23 AM — A lawyer for Gus Van Sant, director of My Own Private Idaho, has told a court in Portland, Oregon, that he is not guilty of driving recklessly and drink-driving.The 54-year-old was arrested on December 21st last year, after police officers spotted him driving at night with no headlights on.Police allege that the director was slurring his words and had bloodshot eyes when stopped.

  • Mardi Gras protest over gay marriage 1

    Last year US Vice President was lampooned along with  Brokeback Mountain.

    9:55 AM — Sydney Mardi Gras organisers have launched a stinging attack on the Australian Prime Minister's stance on same-sex marriage.The federal government of John Howard has rejected calls for Australian gay and lesbian couples to be allowed to have same-sex marriages or civil unions.The Liberal leader has spoken out against gay rights on many occasions.

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