21st December 2007
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.
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."
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.
MP’s “baffling” attack on Hazel Blears 2
3:40 PM — A veteran Labour MP has accused the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears of acting out of "venal and personal reasons" with regard to the merger of councils in Cheshire.In an unusual attack, Gwyneth Dunwoody said: "I have seen the crawlers. I've seen those whose sexual preferences were of interest to others."I've seen those who've demonstrated a great commitment to their own interest, irrespective of the political parties they were supposed to be representing.
Rome rejects civil register under Vatican pressure 1
2:01 PM — The city council in Rome has blocked plans for a domestic partners register for same-sex and heterosexual couples.The Vatican, which is an independent state within Italy as well as the seat of the Roman Catholic church, had vehemently opposed the measure.Rightwing groups on the council rejected the modest proposal, whereby couples could have signed a register at the city clerk's office.
Presidential hopeful will end gay military ban
1:35 PM — John Edwards, the former US Vice Presidential candidate who is seeking the Democratic party's nomination for President, said yesterday that he will end "discriminatory" policies towards gay people if elected.Speaking in New Hampshire, he pledged to try to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, that banned the federal government from recognising gay marriages or unions and allowed states to refuse to recognise same-sex unions from other states.DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Uruguay becomes latest country to legalise civil unions
1:05 PM — Uruguay's Congress has passed legislation to recognise same-sex civil unions.The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.The Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.
Paddick confident of Sir Elton’s support 6
12:50 PM — International superstar Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, will be supporting the campaign of the only gay candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, a former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, told LBC radio this morning of his celebrity backers.During his time at the Met Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay police officer.
Huckabee pressured over AIDS isolation comments 3
11:40 AM — One week after requesting to meet with Governor Mike Huckabee, Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, the Human Rights Campaign and The AIDS Institute still have not heard from the Republican presidential candidate or his campaign.The meeting was called in response to Huckabee's 1992 remarks, that he has refused to repudiate, when he said people living with HIV and AIDS should have been "isolated" even after it was determined the virus was not spread through casual contact.
18th December 2007
Tory MEP: US HIV rules are “double discrimination” 2
4:15 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by an English Euro MP.London Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, a former NHS doctor, said the proposed arrangements amount to "double discrimination."He has raised the issue with senior EU officials after being contacted by constituents.
FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships 170
3:50 PM — The British government has published information on an embassy website confirming the new agreement between the UK and Spain regarding recognition of UK civil partnerships.Gay couple Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives.When they found out this was not the case, they began a campaign to receive recognition for their partnership.