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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.

  • 5th December 2006

    Gay rights chief named as equality commissioner 5

    Ben Summerskill at the Stonewall Awards with Sir Ian McKellen

    12:00 AM — The chief executive of gay charity Stonewall has been named as one of the commissioners for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.Ben Summerskill will provide guidance to the new body regarding his experience of campaigning for LGBT rights.Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly announced the names of nine new CEHR Commissioners this morning. The commission comes into being in Autumn 2007.

  • Human rights boss: Gays don’t deserve rights 2

    As a European Union member state, Latvia is expected to protect its LGBT citizens from discrimination

    12:00 AM — His appointment was controversial, and now gay groups seem to have been proven right after the head of Latvia's human rights committee told a press conference that the gay community should not be given equal rights to heterosexuals.Janis Smits told a press conference this week that gay people are not a legitimate minority and should "recover normal sexual orientation."

  • 4th December 2006

    Archers holds first ‘gay wedding’ 4

    Soap's longest running gay romance, involving Adam Macy (Andrew Wincott) and Ian Craig (Stephen Kennedy), began in April 2004 with a kiss in a polytunnel

    12:00 AM — Radio 4 soap, The Archers, is set to have Ambridge's first ever civil partnership in a special edition of the BBC show next week.But like any BBC serial drama, there is the usual high jinx and family arguments over who will attend and will the family be the same again.Soap's longest running gay romance, involving Adam Macy (Andrew Wincott) and Ian Craig (Stephen Kennedy), began in April 2004 with a kiss in a polytunnel that left listeners in no doubt about how the farmer and chef felt about one another.

  • Study reveals problems of same sex domestic abuse

    The research recommends that awareness raising campaigns are conducted within LGBT communities

    12:00 AM — More work is needed to raise awareness of domestic abuse in same sex relationships, according to a new study due to be discussed in Bristol next week.The study by Professor Marianne Hester of the University of Bristol's School for Policy Studies and Dr Catherine Donovan of the University of Sunderland, reveals that most survivors of domestic abuse do not report it to organisations such as the police and domestic abuse agencies.

  • Gay couples leading housing market 2

    The study found that as many as 41 per cent of same sex couples and single people see their next purchase as a good way to make money on house price rises

    12:00 AM — Same sex couples are one of the main forces pushing the UK housing market, according to a new report.One in nine people (13%) are planning on buying a new home in the next 12 months, and it's twenty-something's (22%), same sex couples (21%) and singletons (17%) - not the traditional 2.4 child families that are driving the UK's housing market, according to new research from mortgage lender Birmingham Midshires 'Not so Average Joe' campaign.

  • Over 15,000 gays and lesbians are civil partners 8

    A total of 14,084 partnerships took place in England with 537 in Wales, 942 in Scotland and 109 in Northern Ireland

    12:00 AM — Over fifteen thousand same sex couples have taken part in civil partnerships in the last year, the Office of National Statistics revealed today.The figures, released on the eve of the first anniversary of the Civil Partnerships Act, states that there were 15,672 civil partnerships formed in the UK between December 2005 and the end of September 2006.

  • Gay rights fear for next generation 1

    In London, only 36% of 313 young people asked backed same sex rights, 39% were against it

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveAlmost half of the next generation do not believe gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexuals, a global poll has revealed.A survey for the BBC World Service looked at the views of young people aged 15-17 in key cities on issues such as climate change, terrorism, and homosexuality.One question was, should homosexuals be given the same rights as heterosexuals?

  • 1st December 2006

    Hilary Benn calls for HIV action

    Speaking at the London School of Economics on the eve of World AIDS Day, Hilary Benn warned that it is unacceptable to ignore the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS

    12:00 AM — Silence is not an option in the battle against HIV and AIDS, the International Development Secretary said last night.Speaking at the London School of Economics on the eve of World AIDS Day, Hilary Benn warned that it is unacceptable to ignore the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS while "7,500 people will die of AIDS tomorrow, while 11,000 will be infected with HIV."

  • Gay activist reveals Harmondsworth homophobia

    The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, issued a damning report on Tuesday, describing conditions in Harmondsworth as the worst she has ever seen in an immigration and asylum detention centre

    12:00 AM — Harmondsworth and all Britain's asylum detention centres are inhuman hell-holes that should be closed down, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said today.He spoke after a riot at Harmondsworth asylum detention centre over conditions this week.The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, issued a damning report on Tuesday, describing conditions in Harmondsworth as the worst she has ever seen in an immigration and asylum detention centre.

  • HIV stigma causing ‘extreme poverty’ 1

    The report calls for action in tackling the root causes of poverty among people living with HIV

    12:00 AM — HIV stigma and discrimination is driving people living with the virus into extreme poverty, a report revealed today.AIDS charities Crusaid and the National AIDS Trust launched a report into the rising numbers of people living with HIV in poverty to coincide with World AIDS Day this morning.

  • World AIDS Day ‘focuses’ work 1

    Welcoming World AIDS Day, Caroline Flint said today is an opportunity to focus on what needs to be done to tackle the virus

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveThe government will continue supporting efforts to prevent HIV transmission in the UK, the Public Health Minster said today.Welcoming World AIDS Day, Caroline Flint said today is an opportunity to focus on what needs to be done to tackle the virus.She warned that the UK should not be complacent about its attitude, "Here in the UK whilst we remain a relatively low prevalence country for HIV, rates of HIV are rising and we need to ensure that we reinvigorate HIV and AIDS awareness for the 21st Century."

  • Gay students ‘ignored’ in sex education 2

    The campaigners claim that the government is too obsessed with other aspects of education policy such as promoting academies and debates over faith schools

    12:00 AM — On the 18th anniversary of the founding of World AIDS Day, and 25 years after HIV was identified, gay campaign group Schools Out is calling upon the government for a total re-think on its teaching policy.The group, which pushes for LGBT equality in education, claims that the government should be doing more about raising awareness of sexual health amongst school pupils.

  • Gay venues smoke free by July 2007 5

    Smoking will be outlawed in 124,000 pubs and clubs across England

    12:00 AM — All enclosed public places and workplaces in the UK will become smokefree from 1st July 2007, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt announced today.Gay venues have already told PinkNews.co.uk that they feel they can cope with a ban, which will be introduced in Wales and Northern Ireland in April 2007 and in England in July 2007.

  • Prime Minister backs HIV fight 1

    Writing in the Daily Mirror, Tony Blair vowed to keep up the fight against HIV and AIDS

    12:00 AM — Gay men are amongst groups who get the least help because of the stigma surrounding HIV, the Prime Minister said today.Writing in the Daily Mirror, Tony Blair vowed to keep up the fight against HIV and AIDS.His remarks come on World AIDS Day, 25-years after the first diagnoses of the virus.

  • 30th November 2006

    US Jews to discuss gay behaviour 3

    It comes in reaction to rabbinical students pushing for “ordination regardless of orientation”

    12:00 AM — The Jewish Conservative Movement in the US is preparing for a vote on the issue of gay rabbis and same sex marriage next week with members of the community predicting that ordination and unions will be given the nod.It comes in reaction to rabbinical students pushing for "ordination regardless of orientation" and many rabbis coming out or performing same sex ceremonies despite a ban.

  • Dawn raids target homophobia

    For 2005/06 there were 11,322 race hate crimes, and 1294 homophobic crimes, according to Scotland Yard figures

    12:00 AM — Five hundred police officers raided addresses and arrested perpetrators of domestic, race hate and homophobic crimes across the capital this morning.The dawn raids are one part of a two-week initiative to put the fear back onto the offenders, and encourage victims to report crimes.The number of domestic violence incidents reported to police in 2005/06 was over 108, 000, with 24% of incidents accounting for all reported violence and 20% of all murders.

  • European Parliament rejects gay discrimination claims

    The European Parliament's Bureau has rejected accusations that it has ignored anti-discrimination policies

    12:00 AM — The European Parliament's Bureau has rejected accusations that it has ignored anti-discrimination policies regarding sexual orientation.The department was criticised by the International Lesbian and Gay Association after a draft resolution of the European Parliament's Secretariat, the administrative arm of the political body, had initially included sexual orientation, but was later amended.

  • Deputy PM defends gay rights laws 18

    Mr Prescott backed the incoming Sexual Orientation Regulations amid criticism from a Northern Ireland MP

    12:00 AM — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is often accused of not having much relevance in government, but yesterday he took a stand for gay rights.Representing Tony Blair at Prime Minister's questions, Mr Prescott backed the incoming Sexual Orientation Regulations amid criticism from a Northern Ireland MP.

  • Gay MEP attacks ‘un-Christian’ Church equality reaction 18

    Michael Cashman accused the leaders of blackmailing the government

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveLabour MEP Michael Cashman has joined government condemnation of remarks made by Christian leaders regarding the new Sexual Orientation Regulations.Former EastEnder turned politician, Mr Cashman, the head of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Lesbian and Gay Rights, described comments by the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, and the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, as well as a controversial advert in the Times, as "totally un-Christian."

  • PinkNews leads opposition to Christian ad 18

    The advert claims that the legislation will “force” a bed and breakfast to supply a room to a transsexual and will make schools promote civil partnerships

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveAn anti-gay advert from Christian groups in the Times on Tuesday has already prompted an influx of complaints to the advertising watchdog as a result of a campaign launched by PinkNews.co.uk.The gay community reacted with outrage earlier this week after a group of Christian leaders calling themselves Coherent and Cohesive Voice, placed an advert in the newspaper accusing the government of taking away "freedom of conscience" through the new Sexual Orientation Regulations.

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