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Law

  • 11th January 2007

    Orkney composer cancels ceremony plans 5

    The Sanday registrar, a friend of Sir Peter, Charlie Ridley, has resigned his post in protest at being told he could not perform the civil partnership ceremony.

    10:05 AM — Composer Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies has decided to shelve plans to marry his partner on the Orkney Islands.Sir Peter, the Master of the Queen's Music, was at the centre of a media storm earlier in the week when he accused council officials on the islands of homophobia.Orkney Island Council had told Sir Peter, 72, that the registrar on the island of Sanday, where the composer lives, is not legally able to carry out civil partnerships ceremonies.

  • 8th January 2007

    Orkney hits back at unfair press coverage 5

    Gay rights groups have been quick to criticise the local government staff on the islands, who serve a population less than 20,000 people.

    3:51 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Council staff on the islands of Orkney have spoken exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the media storm that has engulfed the remote Scottish outpost.A communications officer for the island group's local authority spoke to PinkNews.co.uk in an attempt to put right inaccurate reports in London newspapers.

  • Transsexual loses £500,000 unfair dismissal claim

    Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, alleged she was demoted after surgery to “feminise“ her face and breasts.

    3:08 PM — A transsexual who claimed she was forced to leave her job at Hitachi Data Systems after changing sex has lost her claim for half a million pounds compensation.It was thought to be the largest claim ever made under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999.Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, had claimed she was demoted after surgery to "feminise" her face and breasts.

  • Canadian lesbian couple tie the knot behind bars

    One is serving three years for breaking and entering, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault while her wife is doing six years for manslaughter. photo: s baker@flickr.com

    2:07 PM — Two Canadian inmates have become the first lesbian couple to get married while in prison.The Edmonton Sun reports that the pair, whose names have not been released by prison officials, exchanged vows over the weekend.As reported by PinkNews.co.uk, a lesbian couple in Belgium went through a civil ceremony last week while both still incarcerated.

  • Kidderminster man guilty of “grooming” teenage boy

    The defence claimed that the charges of sexual contact were a figment of the boy's imagination, and that Oakes merely wished to help the teenager.

    1:51 PM — A 41-year-old man has been found guilty of meeting a child following sexual grooming.A 14-year-old boy met the man, Vincent Oakes of Park Street, Kidderminster, on a gay internet site.The teenager claimed he was 18 and told Oakes that he could not be open about his sexuality with his parents.

  • Orkney Council moves to quell civil partnerships row 5

    The row had threatened to affect the vital tourist trade to the island, after gay rights organisation Stonewall Scotland accused Orkney Island Council of homophobia

    11:58 AM — Officials at Orkney Islands Council have moved to try and calm accusations of homophobia, after they refused a leading British composer permission to get married on his home island.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music, had planned a glittering ceremony for himself and his partner Colin Parkinson on the remote island of Sanday.However, the council have told the composer that the registrar on the island is not authorised to perform civil partnerships.

  • Devon pensioner cleared of homophobic intimidation

    During the course of the trail Mr Whitburn broke down in tears as a defence barrister accused him of making a mountain out of a molehill.

    11:22 AM — A 67-year-old man who is the subject of a restraining order has been found not guilty of continuing to harass a gay couple after a four day trial at Exeter Crown Court.Dennis Scanes lived in a local authority property on the same street as Kevin Whitburn and Andrew Brown in Alphington, Devon.The couple live with Mr Whitburn's 80-year-old mother.

  • Orkney Council denies homophobia accusations 5

    The council has told the 72-year-old composer that he must travel to the main island of Orkney for a civil partnership ceremony.  photo: Collins Classics

    9:45 AM — The remote Scottish island of Sanday is at the centre of a row, after a leading British composer was refused permission for a civil partnership ceremony.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, who is Master of the Queen's Music, has lived on the small island, the third largest of the Orkney Islands, for nine years.He had planned a ceremony with his partner, Colin Parkinson, next month.

  • 4th January 2007

    Egyptian man questioned over dismembered body 57

    The body was found in a suitcase outside Cairo. photo: marc lacoste@flckr.com

    2:10 PM — An Egyptian man is being questioned in Cairo after the discovery of the remains of a German national in a suitcase.The victim was identified because his mobile phone had also been packed into the suitcase, which was discovered on a plateau outside the city. The Australian newspaper reports that Mustapha Maher was arrested by Egyptian police on 27th December soon after the grisly discovery.

  • Homophobic teenager convicted of firearm offence

    Both were ordered to carry out community service. The severity of their sentences reflects the homophobic nature of their crimes.

    1:31 PM — Two Surrey teenagers have received suspended jail sentences after they threatened people at a popular beauty spot with an air rifle and a samurai sword last May Bank Holiday.The pair, both unemployed, arrived at the Wisley Car Park in Old Lane, Ockham, Surrey, by car and shouted homophobic abuse at passers-by before producing their weapons and using them in a threatening manner.

  • 3rd January 2007

    Czechs flock to register partnerships 1

    Since the new laws were adopted in July last year, over 200 gay unions have been registered.

    1:24 PM — Gay rights activists in the Czech Republic have spoken of their delight at the number of gay and lesbian couples that have registered their partnerships.The central European state, which joined the EU three years ago, became the first former Soviet Bloc country to allow gay unions.Since the new laws were adopted in July last year, over 200 gay unions have been registered.

  • Canadian boy has two mommies – and a dad

    The Ontario Supreme Court ruled that the lesbian partner is also legally a parent to the child.

    11:15 AM — A ruling by a court in Ontario has for the first time given the full legal status of parent to three people. It is believed to be the first time that a Canadian child has legally got three parents.The case involved a lesbian couple, who used the sperm of a friend to have a baby. The biological father is actively involved in the raising of the child, and is legally the father of the boy, now five years old.The biological mother's lesbian partner chose not to adopt the boy as that would have negated the legal parental status of the biological father.

  • US general says “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should go 5

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    10:18 AM — An Army general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US military has called for a change in attitude towards gay and lesbian soldiers.John Shalikashvili was chairman from 1993 - 1997, and it was during his tenure that the controversial policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was introduced.At the time he argued that had argued that openly gay and lesbian personnel would hurt troop morale and undermine the cohesion of combat units.

  • 2nd January 2007

    Belgian “Bad Girls” tie the knot

    Terry will be released next year. Linda, who has always denied murdering her husband, will probably serve at least another ten years.

    11:24 AM — Two female prisoners in Flanders have made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to get married while imprisoned.Linda Couvreur, 44, a mother of three, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2003, and Theresa 'Terry' Van Heyst, 43, a convicted arsonist, were married on the 29th of December in Bruges prison.The newly weds met last April in prison and fell in love. Terry even refused the early release for which she was eligible to stay with her lover.

  • 29th December 2006

    “Home” HIV testing kits less reliable

    Customers who are found to have positive antibodies will have access to DrThom's telephone counselling.

    12:00 AM — A UK company has launched a new HIV testing service, but AIDS charities have warned customers that they are not as reliable as going to a clinic.For £25, DrThom will analyse a sample of saliva for HIV antibodies. Customers take the sample themselves and sent it through the post to the company's laboratory.If antibodies, which indicate the presence of the HIV virus, are present the customer is contacted by phone.

  • Chat room teenager stabs 43-year-old lover 3

    Holden's bowel and colon were penetrated in the attack, though he has subsequently made a full recovery.

    12:00 AM — An intergenerational relationship that started on the internet ended with a near-fatal stabbing, Carlisle Crown Court has heard.19-year-old Artan Fana was sentenced to two years in jail for stabbing 43-year-old Mark Holden in February this year.The Essex teenager had met Holden in an internet chat room and they spent many hours getting to know each other online.

  • 27th December 2006

    Mystery gay reveller emerges in Barrymore pool death case 1

    Barrymore has also been questioned along with other guests (Photo: Joy Padmore)

    12:00 AM — A new name has emerged as the possible key to what went on at gay star Michael Barrymore's home after an inquiry into the death of Stuart Lubbock was reopened.Lubbock, 31, was found dead in the swimming pool of the openly gay television personality in March 2001 after a drug fuelled party.During the inquest that followed, an open verdict was reached and to date no-one has been charged in connection with Mr Lubbock's death.

  • 23rd December 2006

    Couple awarded for homophobia 5

    The devout Christians won an out of court settlement

    12:00 AM — A retired couple have won out of court damages after being questioned by police regarding their views on homosexuality.Devout Christians, Joe Roberts 73, and his wife Helen, 68, of Fleetwood, Lancashire, wrote to Wyre Borough Council accusing them of "pandering" to minority groups by distributing leaflets about homosexuality in their buildings.

  • 21st December 2006

    Irish lesbian couple appeal marriage ruling 2

    Lawyers for the State have insisted the pair have no right to marry under the Constitution

    12:00 AM — A lesbian couple are to appeal a High Court decision which said their Canadian marriage could not be recognised in Ireland.Last week, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne dismissed the case of Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan claiming that marriage could only be defined between members of the opposite sex, but the couple will now take their case to Ireland's Supreme Court.

  • 20th December 2006

    Gay legal group settle over Subway HIV suit

    Among other things included in the settlement, the company agrees that its written policies will explicitly state that it does not discriminate against any qualified individuals with HIV

    12:00 AM — Gay law group Lambda Legal has today announced that it has settled a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Las Vegas division, on behalf of a man who was fired by a Subway restaurant owner because he has HIV.Among other things included in the settlement, the company agrees that its written policies will explicitly state that it does not discriminate against any qualified individuals with HIV.

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