25th January 2007
Catholic adoption opt-out ruled out 1
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.