8th January 2007
Orkney Council denies homophobia accusations 5
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.
5th January 2007
COMMENT: Peter Tatchell – A quote for every occasion? 5
5:00 PM — The execution of Saddam Hussein led commentator Ben Leung to confront his mixed feelings towards gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Despite staying up the night before for news of his demise, it wasn't until I saw the front-page of The Times newspaper at a windswept Ascot racecourse that I truly accepted that Saddam was dead.The headline of the 4am edition was brief and succinct: 'SADDAM HANGED', two words which not many people could ever have imagined seeing had suddenly become a reality.
Gay Congressman takes up key post
12:17 PM — The only out gay man in the new 110th US Congress has been appointed chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee, and has promised to give shareholders more say over executive salaries.Rep. Barney Frank commented in 1996 that he is used to being in the minority, but thanks to the shift of power in Congress as a result of the November elections the left-handed, Jewish homosexual suddenly finds himself in the driving seat.
Christian Union students want gay acceptance test case 4
11:21 AM — A small group of Christian students at Exeter University are going to court to try to set a legal precedent about acceptance of gay rights.The Christian Union has been prevented from using facilities at the university because they ban gay or lesbian students from joining their organisation."Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take," a Union spokesman told The Daily Mail.
Vatican embraces gay icon
10:22 AM — Oscar Wilde, long claimed by the gay community as the ultimate bitchy queen, has been embraced by one of Pope Benedict's closest advisers.The Vatican's head of protocol, Fr Leonardo Sapienza, has published a book of witty remarks for Christians, perhaps aware that the devout tend not to be the most spontaneously amusing of people.Irish-born playwright Wilde is featured heavily in Provocations: Aphorisms for an Anti-conformist Christianity.
4th January 2007
Nepalese gays face new persecution
4:10 PM — Gangs of Maoist militants have launched a campaign in Nepal against the country's gay and lesbian population.The country's only gay rights organisation, Blue Diamond, reports that this new oppression is sanctioned by Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala.Gays and lesbians in the Himalayan kingdom previously suffered persistent persecution from security forces during the absolutist rule of King Gyanendra.
COMMENT: Congress should scrap “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 5
4:10 PM — A new United States Congress will be sworn in later today. In the November election, the Democratic party seized control of both the House and Senate. PinkNews.co.uk's Tony Grew considers whether the 110th Congress will be the one to finally allow gays and lesbians to serve in the US military. It seems America is finally coming to terms with the fact that there are gay people in their Armed Forces, whether they ask or not.
Egyptian man questioned over dismembered body 57
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
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.
Home Office anti-homophobia campaign gets 5 out of 10
11:50 AM — The charity Schools OUT, which works to combat homophobic bullying in schools, has welcomed the Home Office's new guidance to schools, but has said that overall the government "must do better."Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.
Stonewall slams Christian/Muslim protest 8
10:59 AM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Gay rights organisation Stonewall has described claims by Christian and Muslim activists that new anti-discrimination regulations will force religious groups to hire gay people as fantasy.Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive, also accused evangelical Christians of breaking one of the ten commandments.
Jewish leaders question anti-discrimination regulations 1
10:15 AM — The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents most of the Jewish community in the UK, has weighed into the controversy surrounding new regulations that grant gay people protection against discrimination.The organisation has expressed concern about the controversial new rules, due to be introduced this month.They have been delayed on the orders of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, after protests from the Christian churches.
3rd January 2007
Muslims urged to join protest against “deviants” 8
4:55 PM — Evangelical Christians will be joined on their protest march on Parliament on January 9th by leading members of the Muslim community.Earlier this week, a group of Christian lawyers announced their intention to petition the Queen and protest at the Palace of Westminster to show their opposition to the proposed regulations to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.
Backlash against gay marriage in Massachusetts 57
4:32 PM — Lawmakers in the American state of Massachusetts have approved a referendum on gay marriage. The ballot, which will take place in 2008, will ask voters to ban same-sex marriage.The New England state is currently the only one in the US that has legalised gay marriage.Republicans in the state legislature voted through the measure twice, despite opposition from the governor-elect, Democrat Deval Patrick.
Former US Defence Secretary queries “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” 5
3:50 PM — A Republican politician who was in charge of the US Armed Forces for four years has backed calls by a retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs to re-open the debate over the controversial "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.William Cohen served as Defence Secretary from 1997 - 2001 under Democrat President Bill Clinton.In an interview last night on CNN, Cohen described the current policy as discriminatory and not reflective of current American public opinion.
Czechs flock to register partnerships 1
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.
Government “open to discussion” on homophobic incitement 1
12:23 PM — PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive A Home Office minister has vowed to review homophobic incitement laws amid calls for anti-gay remarks to be made illegal.Speaking exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk, Police and Security Minister Tony McNulty said that the issue is under review and vowed that once religious and racial incitement laws are implemented it will then be easier to see how to follow up with a law against homophobic harassment.
Canadian boy has two mommies – and a dad
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.
Tatchell calls for Equal Rights Act 1
10:50 AM — Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has called on the government to harmonise all discrimination and equality laws into one piece of equal rights legislation.Criticising the "differential levels of protection against discrimination available to different minority groups," Mr Tatchell wants to see the unification of all equal rights legislation in a single Equal Rights Act, based on the current race equality laws.
US general says “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should go 5
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.