23rd December 2007
Simon Hughes says Blair conversion isn’t news
12:01 AM — The openly bisexual, Christian, Liberal Democrat MP, Simon Hughes has criticised the media for overstating the importance of the conversion of former prime minister Tony Blair to Catholicism.Mr Hughes said: "In the 21st century the news that a former prime minister has moved from one branch of the church to another should not rate major headlines...If Tony Blair had changed from Christianity to Buddhism, Islam or Judaism it would be much more significant."
22nd December 2007
David Starkey: The Queen is uncultured and poorly educated 7
1:41 PM — The openly gay historian Dr David Starkey has said the Queen is uninterested in her predecessors because she was poorly educated.He told the Guardian: "I think she's got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture."You remember: 'Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver'." He compared her to Elizabeth I, who also acceded the throne at 25, "was 20 times as well educated. And had either five or six languages".
Blair converts to Catholicism 1
1:01 PM — Former prime minister, Tony Blair, has converted to Catholicism, his spokesman confirmed today.He was welcomed into the church in a service last last night by the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.Mr Blair's relationship with the gay community was seriously damaged following his appointment of the devoutly Catholic Ruth Kelly to the post of Minister for Equality in 2006. Ms Kelly, a member of Opus Dei had never voted in favour of gay rights despite her role holding responsibility for LGBT issues.
21st December 2007
Nepal “sets a new standard for LGBTI rights”
7:20 PM — Nepal's gay rights organisation has released a statement celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to grant equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.Blue Diamond Society's Sunil B Pant said he was extremely happy and proud" of the court's decision, which the group hopes will mean a revolution for gay people in the Himilayan country."It is believed that LGBTI will enjoy, today onward, all the rights according their sexual and gender identities as other genders."
Jersey consults on gay marriage 3
3:30 PM — The States of Jersey has set-up an advisory board to receive comments on four government proposals for new legislation which could introduce gay marriage to the island by the end of next year.The four options put forward for further discussion are the right for same-sex couples to marry, same-sex civil partnerships as in the UK, civil partnership for both heterosexual and same-sex couples, or no change to the current law.The closing date for comments is 31st March 2008.
Paddick calls on Met chief to resign over shooting 2
2:40 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has again called on the capital's most senior police officer to resign over the shooting of an innocent man.Brian Paddick's remarks follow the announcement today by the independent police watchdog that no officers from the Metropolitan police will face charges or disciplinary action over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22nd 2005.Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay officer until he stood down as one of the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioners in May.
Spanish embassy unaware of civil partnerships agreement 170
1:55 PM — The Spanish Embassy in London was unaware UK civil partners should now receive the same benefit as married couples in Spain, despite advice from the British government that Spanish authorities should be contacted for guidance on the matter.When contacted by PinkNews.co.uk today Fernando Villalba, the Spanish Embassy press councillor, said: "This is the first time I have heard about that. I haven't seen it in the news."He said he had no advice for same-sex civil partners wishing to claim marriage benefits.
Christian MPs want to amend hate crime legislation 102
1:40 PM — A cross-party group of MPs has tabled an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.Christian Concern for our Nation is urging its supporters to pressure MPs into supporting the new amendment.
Court demands end to Nepal’s gay discrimination
1:15 PM — Gay rights campaigners in the Himalayan nation of Nepal have spoken of their delight at a ruling by the Supreme Court legitimising gay rights.The court, hearing a petition from four activists, has ordered that the government not just overturn discriminatory laws but pass new ones protecting the rights of gay people.The harassment that lesbian, gay and trans people face in the country often comes at the hands of Maoist rebels.
New EU nation not taking to gay acceptance 1
12:55 PM — One of the more recent EU member states has very high levels of hostility towards gay people, a survey has revealed.Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries on the continent, joined the European Union in January, but social attitudes do not appear to be developing as quickly as the economy.According to the Novinite news agency, research conducted by Skala agency in September found that only 17 percent of Bulgarians "can freely communicate with gay people."
17% of Florida LGB couples are raising children
12:40 PM — Opponents of same-sex marriage in one of America's most populous states are confident they have gathered the more than 600,000 signatures needed to get a question on the November 2008 ballot calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups, has been trying to get the question on the ballot for three years.The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has released a new research study providing demographic and economic information for the almost 55,000 same-sex couples in Florida.
20th December 2007
Gay marriage opponent is new ANC leader 3
5:22 PM — Jacob Zuma, the new leader of the African National Congress, has previously spoken out against gay marriage.Mr Zuma, 65, won a considerable victory over incumbent South African President Thabo Mbeki and is the clear favourite to become the country's next leader, despite concerns he could face corruption charges.In 2006 he had apologise for offending the gay community and claimed that his comments describing same sex marriage as "a disgrace" were misinterpreted.
Men plead not guilty to Royal blackmail charges 25
4:30 PM — Two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.
Stephen Williams promoted in Lib Dem reshuffle 1
2:28 PM — Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has been appointed Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for Innovation, Universities and Skills.He becomes the only gay man in the party's 'Shadow Cabinet.' In his previous roles as an education spokesman he gained prominence for his fight against homophobic bullying in schools.Mr Williams, 40, was elected to Parliament in 2005. Last year he was nominated for Politician of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.
Frontline role for Charlie in new Lib Dem team
2:15 PM — Nick Clegg has announced the first appointments to his frontbench team since becoming Liberal Democrat leader on Tuesday.Former leader Charles Kennedy returns to frontline politics, and in an unusual arrangement he will speak from the frontbench on Europe but not be the party's official Europe spokesman.London MP Lynne Featherstone has been appointed as the party's youth and equality spokesperson, shadowing the equality team led by Harriet Harman.
Gay sex scandal Senator invited to the White House
1:45 PM — Beleaguered Republican politician Larry Craig was an official guest at the White House yesterday.The Senator from Idaho, who denies he is gay despite a conviction for cruising for sex in an airport toilet, was invited to watch President Bush sign a new energy bill into law.Several other members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were also at the White House for the ceremony.
Poll exposes Hungarian hostility to gay relationships 3
12:40 PM — While the Hungarian parliament passed new laws this week legalising same-sex civil partnerships, an opinion poll for a national newspaper found little support for the measure among the voters.The Nepszabadsag survey found that only 12 percent of Hungarians think same-sex relationships are completely normal.60 percent condemn homosexuality and a further 30 percent disapprove of gay people. The new law will apply to both heterosexual and gay and lesbian couples.
Comment: The maverick Presidential hopefuls 2
12:31 PM — For one bright, shining moment last summer, LGBT political activists had a direct impact on the 2008 presidential race in a positive way.Former Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel was not deemed to be a viable Democratic Presidential candidate and therefore was not invited to participate in the historic Visible Vote '08 Presidential Forum in Los Angeles hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and broadcast on Logo.That made many LGBT activists and bloggers angry.
Florida to vote on same-sex marriage ban
11:01 AM — Should the Florida constitution ban same-sex couples from marrying?That's the question that will be put before the state's voters next year, thanks to the efforts of Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups led by Orlando lawyer John Stemberger.The coalition announced late last week that after three years they have succeeded in gathering the 611,009 signatures needed.
19th December 2007
Equality commission to review trans hate crime law 1
5:10 PM — The chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has told PinkNews.co.uk that it will be reviewing the evidence regarding the need to criminalise incitement to hatred against trans people.The government has brought forward a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, but said that there was insufficient evidence to extend the measure to the trans community.A meeting of the EHRC commissioners last Thursday backed the new incitement legislation.