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Author photoMarc Shoffman

Marc Shoffman was chief correspondent of PinkNews.co.uk between 2005 and 2006. He was online editor between 2006 and 2007.

  • 12th October 2006

    Irish Greens back gay marriage

    The move would bring comfort to Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan who were married in Canada in 2003 and are currently trying to get their union to be recognised by the Irish government too

    12:00 AM — Ireland does not currently even have any laws regarding same sex unions, but the country's Green Party has today vowed to introduce total equality between the gay and straight community by promising same-sex marriage, civil partnerships for both same-sex and heterosexual couples, and legal rights for couples who live together.The Party believes legislative changes are necessary to ensure equality for all, to offer protection for the contemporary family and to provide a legal framework in areas including taxation, inheritance and maintenance.

  • UN criticises Cameroon’s anti-gay policies

    The men were arrested at a bar frequented by gays and lesbians in Yaoundé, Cameroon last June and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment after being found guilty “sodomy“

    12:00 AM — The United Nations has criticised Cameroonian authorities for detaining 11 men on their basis of their presumed sexuality.The men were arrested at a bar frequented by gays and lesbians in Yaoundé, Cameroon last June and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment after being found guilty "sodomy."

  • 11th October 2006

    LGBT community talks about sexuality

    Gay and lesbian campaigners, politicians and celebrities are encouraging other LGBT people to feel the freedom of admitting their sexuality openly

    12:00 AM — Gay and lesbian campaigners, politicians and celebrities are encouraging other LGBT people to feel the freedom of admitting their sexuality openly to mark National Coming Out Day.The event, commemorated today, started in Washington in 1987 when half a million LGBT people and supporters marched together for gay equality, in its 19th year it is still campaigning for people to be out and proud.

  • Stonewall helps small business promote gay equality

    Gay People, Your Business is endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses and has been funded by the Department for Communities  Local Government

    12:00 AM — Gay charity Stonewall has launched its first guide advising Britain's four million small businesses how to become more gay-friendly.Gay People, Your Business is designed to be read in 15 minutes for companies who may not understand or have the time to translate legal and business jargon.

  • Gay ex-hostage promoting peace 1

    Freed hostage, James Loney, pictured with  fellow Canadian Harmeet Sooden

    12:00 AM — Gay peace activist James Loney is looking to turn the experience of being held hostage in Iraq into a campaign to help promote peace between religions and confront extremism.Mr Loney's abduction by Iraqi militias between November 2005 and March 2006 became the focus of international media attention, his partner and family kept his homosexuality a secret in fear that his captors would execute him.

  • Lesbian couple drop marriage appeal 10

    Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, a British lesbian couple married lawfully in Canada, challenged the UK government's laws claiming that their human rights were impeded by only being viewed as civil partners

    12:00 AM — The lesbian couple whose legal Canadian marriage was declared invalid by the High Court earlier this year has given up its appeal due to a lack of funds but vows to fight on through campaigns.University professors Sue Wilkinson, 52, and Celia Kitzinger, 50, will not be taking their fight to the Court of Appeal because of their current court bill of £25,000 which covers the government's legal costs for the case.

  • Scarlett Johansson ‘role model’ for sexual health

    Genevieve Clark, THT's director of communications called Johansson a great role model for sexual health

    12:00 AM — HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has praised Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson for addressing the importance of sexual health.The group welcomed her comments which she made in an interview with Allure magazine.Speaking about her relationships she insists she is not promiscuous but said that getting tested for STD's is part of being a "socially aware."

  • Clinton backs gay partner benefits 3

    New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton looks set to mend her topsy-turvy relationship with the gay community

    12:00 AM — New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton looks set to mend her topsy-turvy relationship with the gay community after backing same sex partner rights to insurance benefits.Mrs Clinton, who has previously been criticised for opposing same sex marriage, has put her name down as a sponsor for a bill brought forward by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

  • 10th October 2006

    Gay activists oppose Iran deportations

    n February 2006, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk first declared her intention to end the moratorium, stating that “It appears that there are no cases of an execution on the basis of the sole fact that someone is homosexual. ... For homosexual men and women it is not totally impossible to function in society, although they should be wary of coming out of the closet too openly“

    12:00 AM — As the Netherlands mulls resuming deportations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers back to Iran, and Sweden begins such deportations again, human rights activists are urging both European governments to adhere to their international legal obligations not to send people back to the risk of torture.Human Rights Watch has written letters toDutch and Swedish authorities saying the states cannot return people to countries where they face torture, ill-treatment or death, a fate known to be awaiting LGBT in Iran where Sharia law proscribes the death penalty for homosexuality.

  • Gay bars to monitor street smoking 5

    The potential problems caused by smokers outside premises in the West End has been raised by Westminster City Council in its response to the Department of Health's consultation on the introduction of the smoking ban

    12:00 AM — Gay bars in Soho welcomed the idea of a smoking ban when MPs passed a bill prohibiting it earlier this year, and now Westminster Council has taken another step by ensuring the smokers won't just be moved outside.The local authority of Westminster contains many gay venues which will have to ensure there customers no longer light up from next year, but the Council wants to make sure the new law doesn't result in customers smoking in the street.

  • Mental health day important for gay community 4

    Earlier this year a study by the Mental Health Foundation found that a quarter of young gay or bisexual men in Northern Ireland have attempted suicide

    12:00 AM — Mental health charities are joining together today to stop the increasing rates of suicide caused by severe depression, an issue of great importance to the gay community.World Mental Health Day, an international awareness campaign, aims to highlight the plight of those people suffering from severe mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia, which can lead to suicide.

  • Stonewall denies preferential gay treatment 1

    Gay charity Stonewall has rubbished a report which claims that special interest groups such as the gay community are turning the United Kingdom into a nation of victims

    12:00 AM — Gay charity Stonewall has rubbished a report which claims that special interest groups such as the gay community are turning the United Kingdom into a nation of victims and undermining legal equality.The book We're (Nearly) All Victims Now! published by the Civitas think tank estimates that around 73% of the population now make up victim groups which undermines equality before the law.

  • 9th October 2006

    Foley sex scandal dates back to 2000 3

    Mark Foley, a six-term state representative and chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children resigned earlier this month

    12:00 AM — As the US Congressional elections draw nearer yet another embarrassment has emerged for the Republicans as it has emerged an Arizona representative knew about disgraced former Florida politician Mark Foley's controversial email exchanges back in 2000.It has now been revealed that Republican of Arizona, Jim Kolbe, previously confronted Mr Foley over his relationship with a page after the intern showed him internet messages.

  • Scottish gay laws “jeopardising family life” 5

    Bishop Tartaglia said gay marriage advocates had lost sight of God's will

    12:00 AM — The Scottish Executive is "jeopardising family life" by allowing civil partnerships, a Catholic bishop has warned.The Bishop Of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, used a speech to legal figures in Edinburgh yesterday to attack the concept of gay unions.He accused lawmakers of going against "God's purpose," he said: "A raft of legislative measures have jeopardised, recklessly I think, family life as intended by God's purpose for human beings.

  • Gay marriage good for the economy

    The research entitled Effect of Marriage Equality and Domestic Partnership On Business and the Economy from the University of California, Los Angeles documents gains to businesses from happier and healthier workers

    12:00 AM — Giving same-sex couples marriage rights will be good for the economy, according to a new study.The research entitled Effect of Marriage Equality and Domestic Partnership On Business and the Economy from the University of California, Los Angeles documents gains to businesses from happier and healthier workers that would outweigh new costs for benefits.

  • Taiwan to promote gay equality

    The Taiwanese Ministry of Education is offering courses to promote gender equality

    12:00 AM — The Taiwanese Ministry of Education is offering courses to promote gender equality after a survey revealed that gay students are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.The research conducted by the education department found that almost 13 percent of homosexual college students are suffering from severe depression and are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

  • Prince Charles joins gay church debate 1

    The British public usually expects controversial gaffes to come from Prince Philip, but now like father like son, the Prince of Wales looks set to anger the Church of England

    12:00 AM — The British public usually expects controversial gaffes to come from Prince Philip, but now like father like son, the Prince of Wales looks set to anger the Church of England after backing the denomination's first openly gay clergyman.Prince Charles praised the openness of the late Harry Williams, who used his autobiography in 1982 to come out.

  • 6th October 2006

    Edinburgh church backs gay unions

    Last May The Church of Scotland's General Assembly considered the issue of civil partnerships

    12:00 AM — The Edinburgh Presbytery of the Church of Scotland has given its backing to civil partnerships, making it the first part of a major British denomination to support gay unions.Last May The Church of Scotland's General Assembly considered the issue of civil partnerships and in a controversial vote, which many ministers had threatened to resign over, 372 votes to 240 supported giving individual laymen the freedom to bless civil partnerships.

  • Brokeback Mountain opens cowboy wardrobe 5

    The film is auctioning outfits warn by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign

    12:00 AM — Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will be able to feed his cowboy fetish this weekend when the entire wardrobe of gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain goes on sale.The film is auctioning outfits warn by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

  • Gay animal jibe is Noah joke 6

    David Clutterbuck a 72-year old Conservative councillor at Bournemouth Borough Council has infuriated local political opponents by suggesting that a modern day Noah's Ark would have to allow gay animals on board

    12:00 AM — It started as a joke but has now become a farce after a Tory councillor was today suspended from an equality panel and has vowed to resign as a Conservative representative after joking that a modern day Noah's Ark would have to admit gay animals.David Clutterbuck a 72-year old Conservative councillor at Bournemouth Borough Council infuriated local political opponents this week after replying to an email about the bureaucracy that the biblical tale of Noah's Ark would encounter nowadays.

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