4th April 2008
Gay chatline calls cost NHS Trust £1,000
3:30 PM — A health trust employee ran up a £1,000 calling a premium rate gay chat line from work.The bill was discovered by a telecoms consultant who was reviewing telecommunications at the Havering Primary Care Trust (PCT), which runs GP and dentist surgeries across the borough as well as St George's Hospital in Hornchurch.He estimated the employee had been calling the line for up to a year during 2006,.
Gay rights group pays tribute to Bertie Ahern 17
2:06 PM — Politicians from across Europe have spoken about the impact departing Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern had during his decade in office.His tireless work and legendary charm helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, and like his close friend Tony Blair he led his country through a period of economic growth and prosperity.But for some Irish people, his commitment to equality for his gay and lesbian fellow citizens marks him out as one of the most important of the country's political leaders.
EXCLUSIVE: Trans trucker wins at employment tribunal
12:50 PM — A transsexual who claimed she was hounded out of her job as a trucker after she began her transition from her former male gender has triumphed at her employment tribunal.Vikki-Marie Gaynor, 37, from Wallasey in Wirral, is waiting to hear the exact sum of compensation she will be rewarded following her successful claims of sexual discrimination against Exel Europe, part of delivery giant DHL, and recruitment agency Blue Arrow.The ex-soldier got her HGV licence through the Royal Corps of Transport.
Gay Iranian will be returned to UK as soon as today 6
11:20 AM — The Dutch Minister of Justice has told the country's parliament that she completely trusts the UK asylum system.Nebahat Albayrak, speaking in a debate about the plight of gay Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi, said she would not be asking the British counterparts for any assurances about his case.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party secured the debate with support from the Green party, the social democrats and other opposition parties.
3rd April 2008
Livingstone: I’m not gay but have 5 children with 3 women
6:45 PM — Ken Livingstone says he's not gay but has fathered five children with three different womenAs well as his two young children with his current partner Emma Beale, Mr Livingstone has three children from previous relationships. He fathered two daughters by one woman and a son with another. He told the BBC: "I don't talk about my private life; it seems like only yesterday the press was trying to imply I was gay."
PinkNews.co.uk editor to chair Stonewall hustings 1
5:10 PM — The editor of PinkNews.co.uk has said he is excited about the upcoming gay hustings with the Mayor of London candidates after it was announced he will chair the event.The incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, Tory candidate Boris Johnson, the Lib Dem's Brian Paddick, Green party candidate Sian Berry and Lindsey German, the Respect - The Left List's candidate, have all confirmed their attendance.Hundreds of people have already contacted Stonewall to indicate they will be attending.
MPs amused by the Harriet and William show
4:40 PM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman made history yesterday when she became the first woman from the Labour party to answer Prime Minister's Questions.Ms Harman, who is responsible for gay rights issues, is also Leader of the House of Commons and Deputy Leader of the Labour party.Yesterday she was faced with former Tory leader William Hague, filling in for David Cameron. The Prime Minister was at a NATO summit in Bucharest.
COMMENT: Straight male machismo underpins all tyranny 3
1:30 PM — In a speech to the European Feminist Summit in London last month, activist and human rights advocate Peter Tatchell argued that by challenging traditional heterosexual masculinity, the queer emancipation movement can contribute to the liberation of all of humanity.Queer liberation is not a mere minority issue, nor purely a questionof personal lifestyle, civil rights or sexual freedom. It is, or canbe, socially transformative, with the potential to aid allemancipation struggles everywhere.Queers deviate from traditional masculinity. We reject the orthodoxmodel of what it is to be a man.
Booze ban on the tube is latest campaign pledge
1:05 PM — The leading contenders in the Mayor of London election have unveiled more eye-catching promises as the campaign moves into a more active stage.With four weeks to go, Tory candidate Boris Johnson has said that if elected he will ban the consumption of alcohol on the Tube to further crack down on anti-social behaviour and public disorder.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.
Finland appoints gay rights campaigner as Foreign Minister 1
12:40 PM — Members of the European Parliament have welcomed the appointment of Alexander Stubb as Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs.He has been one of the Parliament's leading gay and lesbian rights campaigners and Vice President of the LGBT Intergroup."The Intergroup is thrilled for Alexander and sends him our warmest greetings," said British MEP Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup. "It has been a great pleasure working with Alexander."
Gay people not getting a fair deal says Paddick 2
10:01 AM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has welcomed a report into perceived homophobia in British society.The Stonewall report is based on responses to a YouGov poll of more than 1,600 gay, lesbian and bisexual people across Britain.It found that respondents thought they would get worse treatment on the grounds of their sexuality in employment, political representation, housing, health, education, the police and the criminal justice system.
Rally in support of politician who thinks gays worse than terrorists 10
9:35 AM — More than 1,000 people gathered in the Oklahoma capital on Wednesday to show their support for state representative Sally Kern.Kern came under fire last month after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and saying the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."The YouTube video posted last month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out.
2nd April 2008
Gay rights advocate resigns as Irish Prime Minister 17
6:30 PM — The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland has announced his resignation following an investigation into corruption.Bertie Ahern, 56, has been Taoiseach since June 1997 and has been a strong supporter of gay rights in Ireland. In 2006 he told the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN):"Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws."
Boris Johnson rejects BNP support 13
3:50 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has slammed the British National Party after they told their supporters to choose him as their second preference candidate on May 1st."I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter," said Boris Johnson.Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, told PinkNews.co.uk: "The BNP obviously recognise Boris' reputation for causing offence and creating division."
Military u-turn over lesbian Congresswoman’s partner
1:45 PM — The US Secretary of Defence has intervened after a lesbian Congresswoman's partner was barred from accompanying her on a military aircraft during an official trip.It is reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, phoned Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ask him to intervene.Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin's second district, is the only openly gay woman in Congress.
Irish civil partnerships to exclude parental rights 3
1:05 PM — Gay rights groups in Ireland have expressed disappointment that the government may not extend parental rights to same-sex couples as part of new legislation to legally recognise lesbian and gay relationships.On Monday MarriagEquality, a group formed to campaign for full civil marriage, released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.
Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples 1
12:45 PM — Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.
Gay MEP worried about EU discrimination directive 2
12:01 PM — A British Member of the European Parliament has spoken of his concerns that there is a lack of commitment to gay rights from the European Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso.Michael Cashman, who represents the West Midlands, has voiced his concern over reports that the Commission is backtracking on its commitment to tackle discrimination."Barroso gave the Parliament assurances that it would bring forward a Directive to combat discrimination on the remaining grounds of Article 13," said Mr Cashman.
Dutch MP questions deportation of gay teenager to UK 2
11:30 AM — A social-liberal MP in Holland has secured a debate in the country's parliament about Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager who is due for deportation back to the UK.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government that Mr Kazemi will be allowed to remain in the UK.If he is returned to Iran he claims he faces execution.
1st April 2008
Obama’s £1,000 a head gay fundraiser
5:30 PM — US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised funds for his campaign at an LGBT event last week, where the price of admission was $2,300 (£1,160).The fundraiser was held at the New York apartment of gay activist Kevin Jennings and his partner and 125 people attended, The Advocate reports.More than $170,000 was raised and the candidate spoke for around half an hour and then answered questions.