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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.

  • 14th February 2006

    Indian gay ban may be reversed 1

    Activists also believe changing the legal status of same-sex relations would make it easier for gays and lesbians to think about coming out

    12:00 AM — As you cuddle up to your partner for Valentines night this evening, spare a thought for Indian gay couples in New Delhi who face arrest for declaring their love.Gay sex has been banned in India since colonial times. The Supreme Court told the Delhi High Court to take another look at a petition, which has pleased sexual rights groups.

  • Smoking banned, but are gay bars ready?

    The research showed that the ban may have more of an impact on the customers

    12:00 AM — Research conducted by PinkNews.co.uk has revealed that gay venues in London are not prepared for the newly passed ban on smoking in public places that will become law next summer.London's top pubs and clubs were phoned and asked how much of an impact a ban would have on their trade. Some places had little idea about the legislation and others felt it would make no difference.

  • 13th February 2006

    UAE jails 12 men for homosexuality 2

    Homosexuality is illegal in the Muslim UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries

    12:00 AM — The USA has condemned the United Arab Emirates after twelve men were jailed for participating in a gay wedding.Officials in the country discovered 26 men preparing for a same sex ceremony, eleven of them confessed whilst 14 were acquitted.An official said: "A United Arab Emirates court has jailed 12 men who were arrested after being discovered preparing for a gay wedding, but acquitted another 14 defendants. They were sentenced to five years in prison for homosexuality and one year for obscenity."

  • Gay sex to be described in school textbooks 3

    The guidebook, which is aimed at pupils as young as 14, is used in numerous secondary schools in personal, social and health education lessons (PSHE)

    12:00 AM — Parents are outraged at a school guidebook which contains a chapter describing graphic details of gay sex.The Daily Mail reports that a school pamphlet teaching children to 'talk dirty' and use cling film to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, is being used to provide sex education to students from 14 years old. It has already sold 60,000 copies.

  • 10th February 2006

    Police investigate copycat homophobic posters

    Lancashire Police is investigating who made the homophobic posters

    12:00 AM — Lancashire Police is investigating homophobic posters in Glasgow which claims to be part of a recruitment campaign for the force.Police in Lancashire are treating it as a "homophobic incident" and are stressing the force has nothing to do with the posters.Insp Ian McCann, from Lancashire Police's diversity unit, told the Lancashire Evening Post, "During the last few days we have become aware of posters that have been found in and around the Glasgow area that purport to be from Lancashire Constabulary."

  • Student faces investigation over ‘homophobic’ website 1

    Warren McKenzie, a University of Central Lancashire student, boasts it is the “sickest shop“ on the Internet

    12:00 AM — A student is facing police and trading standards examinations after public outcries over a website selling products targeting the disabled, gay people and victims of crime.The site offers items featuring homophobic slogans and also attacks wheelchair users, celebrates terrorist attacks and glorifies child killers Ian Huntley and Myra Hindley.

  • Ted Heath was a “gay man” 3

    Edward Heath was Prime Minister between 1970 and 1974. He died last year.

    12:00 AM — A book written by a friend of the late Sir Edward Heath is set to revive rumours that the former Prime Minister was homosexual.Gay entrepreneur, Jeremy Norman devotes a whole chapter to Mr Heath in his autobiography, No Make Up: Straight Tales of a Queer Life.Mr Norman, who founded gay club Heaven, told the Evening Standard, "Unquestionably, he was a gay man."

  • 9th February 2006

    Tory Chairman: Gay policies were wrong 9

    Francis Maude told of his sadness at the death of his openly gay brother who died of AIDs

    12:00 AM — Conservative chairman, Francis Maude has revealed fears that his Party's past anti gay policies may have been a contributing factor to his homosexual brother's death.In an exclusive interview with PinkNews.co.uk, he told of his sadness at the death of his openly gay brother, Charles, who died of AIDs 12 years ago and admitted that the government's approach to gay rights in the 1980s and 1990s could have contributed to his plight.

  • Gay penguins resist split attempts 8

    Gay rights groups have voiced dissaproval of the Zoo's methods

    12:00 AM — Two gay German penguins are resisting attempts to split them up so they can breed with their female counterparts.Bremerhaven Zoo in Bremen, imported four Swedish penguins to seduce gay couple Six Point and Slash. However, the temptresses' advances have been met with a frosty reception.The pair instead remain devoted to and nurse pebbles as if they were eggs.

  • Wilde’s grandson protests anti gay broadcast 2

    Merlin Holland says the programme was overtly homophobic

    12:00 AM — The grandson of British gay playwright, Oscar Wilde, has issued a direct complaint to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, following an allegedly anti gay television programme in Russia last weekend.Merlin Holland, wrote a letter to the President encouraging him to ensure that there will be "balanced media coverage" for the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) convention to be held in Moscow later this year.

  • Council cleared over trans dismissal

    The tribunal ruled council bosses could not have discriminated against Mr Baldwin because they did not even know he had decided to change his gender

    12:00 AM — An employment tribunal has dismissed claims that a former gay rights officer was unfairly dismissed after he had a sex change.Brighton and Hove City Council had been accused of sex discrimination and sacking sex change employee, Andy Baldwin when he changed his name from Andrea to Andy.The tribunal ruled that council bosses could not have discriminated against Mr Baldwin because they did not even know he had decided to change his gender.

  • Gay star: I slept with girls

    Stephen Gately plans to marry his partner later this year

    12:00 AM — Gay Boyzone star, Stephen Gately has admitted to sleeping with girls even though he knew he was gay.The 29-year-old singer told an interview with the Irish Daily Mirror: "I've slept with girls, of course I have. When I was in Boyzone I slept with women but deep down I knew I was always gay.""There were always girls throwing themselves at us when we were in Boyzone. There was a lot of temptation there."

  • Will and Grace to air mixed race kiss 3

    Tonight's episode ends with  Will and James locked in a passionate embrace

    12:00 AM — Hit gay sitcom Will and Grace is set to break more homosexual barriers when it broadcasts an interracial gay kiss between the characters of Will and James, in America tonight.Taye Diggs, plays James, Will's (Eric McCormack) hunky Canuck temptation, who was seen on US screens last week. Grace (Debra Messing) agrees to marry James so he can get his Green Card and stay in the States.

  • Residents anger over gay orgies

    WB Yeats's most famous writing was published in 1893. In it, he wrote: “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made“

    12:00 AM — A riverside walk in Ireland that has previously inspired poetry by WB Yeats, has now become an attraction for gay orgies, shocked families have told the Irish Mirror.The paper reports that residents are horrified that the pretty wooded area on the side of Lough Gill, Co Sligo, is now being used by men for outdoor sex.It was previously a popular place for walks known locally as "the Back Avenue."

  • 8th February 2006

    China’s first gay survey 57

    The report includes over 400 gay couples

    12:00 AM — China has produced its first survey on gay men, titled "Chinese MSM (men who have sex with men)" in Beijing.The 650,000-character report on sex and the state of self-identity" was supported by the Ford Foundation in the United States and published by Beijing Gender Consultation Centre. It presents a comprehensive and in-depth view of China's MSM behaviour and current status, but also reveals the previously hidden Chinese gay groups and the cultural state of mind little known to the public.

  • 7th February 2006

    Chlamydia epidemic targets US gays 1

    Chlamydia, caused by bacteria, is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases

    12:00 AM — A rare strain of chlamydia is spreading among gay and bisexual men in America causing an increase in risks of HIV, according to US health officials.The Associated Press reported that the infection can increase chances of getting or spreading the AIDS virus.Called LGV chlamydia, this sexually transmitted disease has already troubled Europe.

  • Will Young: I’m not a gay pop star

    Will Young has gone from reality star to superstar

    12:00 AM — Pop Idol winner turned Brit nominee, Will Young, this week said he was open about being gay but did not want to be defined by his sexuality.In a frank and open hearted interview to the Evening Standard he told how he came out to his parents through a friend and said he didn't want to be stereotyped as a gay pop star, "I don't want to be defined as a gay pop star, much the same as I don't want to be defined as a public-school one."

  • Westlife singer: Coming out makes life better 13

    Mark Feehily is currently in a long term relationship with former V band member Kevin McDaid.

    12:00 AM — Westlife singer Mark Feehily has heaped praise on the Civil Partnership Act in the UK, but the gay band member, who came out at the end of last year, insisted he had no plans to get married.In an exclusive web chat on the Sun website, he revealed it was not too difficult to come out, "When you get to the point of feeling OK about doing it, it's just a case of finding a few minutes to actually say the words. Getting to that place was hard, but once I got there I had absolutely no problem."

  • Islamic preacher who targeted gays is jailed

    Abu Hamza will remain at Belmarsh high security prison

    12:00 AM — Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has been convicted and jailed for seven years on charges of inciting murder and race hate.The preacher claimed that Zionists kept homosexual files on how gay politicians were in order to bribe them, and said he disapproved of homosexuality. He said Aids had been sent as a curse on homosexuals, "They have a common punishment amongst them and they have the virus to run after them wherever they go."

  • 6th February 2006

    Gay people told: Come to Britain

    The tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, suggests that EuroPride and a host of other festivals and events country-wide make 2006 the must-visit year.

    12:00 AM — Gay people worldwide are being urged to go to Britain, in an attempt to cash in on "the pink pound" of tourism.The national tourist agency VisitBritain is urging gay people, "Isn't it time you came out ... to Britain."Reuters' report that Gay tourism is now worth up to three billion pounds a year to the economy with London positioned to rival New York, Sydney and Amsterdam as a hot spot for gay visitors.

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