1st October 2007
Top Tory: BNP voters ‘legitimate views’ 10
12:10 PM — The Conservative shadow secretary for community cohesion has caused outrage in political circles by claiming that BNP voters hold some "very legitimate views."Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim, was one of David Cameron's most celebrated appointments to the front bench earlier this year, but her comments have reopened accusations of a drift to the right on the eve of Mr Cameron's vital leader's speech at the party conference.In an interview with the Independent, Baroness Warsi said: "There are a lot of people out there who are voting for the British National Party and it's those people that we mustn't just write off and say 'well, we won't bother because they are voting BNP or we won't engage with them'.
Nearly half of Brits face discrimination
10:49 AM — Research conducted for the new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) indicates that 46 percent of Brits believe they have faced some form of discrimination.The new commission, which incorporates the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission, is being launched today.Its Chair, Trevor Phillips, said: "We live in an age of difference where most of us believe that people must be judged on their abilities, not their age, what they look like, their disability or their families and private lives."
30th September 2007
Will Cameron make it three in a row for Stonewall? 3
6:40 PM — As the Conservative party conference began in Blackpool today, speculation about whether or not Prime Minister Gordon Brown will ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament and call a general election continues to mount.While election fever grips the press, PinkNews.co.uk is just as interested in whether Mr Cameron will find time to attend the "gay disco" in Blackpool tomorrow night, more formally known as the Absolutely Equal reception.
29th September 2007
Will shamed Senator Larry Craig resign tomorrow? 7
9:30 AM — Tomorrow, is the day by which Senator Larry Craig said he would resign from office after he was arrested in an airport bathroom sex sting, but it appears the embattled Republican isn't necessarily going anywhere any time soon.Shortly after Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, the Idaho senator said he would try to clear his name before the proposed resignation date. If he could accomplish that task, he suggested at the time, he may reconsider that decision.
28th September 2007
Congress may split workplace protection bill 21
6:20 PM — Efforts by American lawmakers to protect LGBT people from employment discrimination are under threat from Congressmen not convinced of the need for gender identity protection.In a compromise, it has been proposed that two bills be introduced - one extending civil rights based on sexual orientation and another for gender identity.The upshot of this would be the defeat of the trans protections that are not supported by some Democratic lawmakers but the likely success of workplace protections for gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.
Tory leader’s wife spoke up for gays 2
5:05 PM — An out gay Conservative who is a close friend of David and Sarah Cameron has revealed that the party leader's wife persuaded her husband to support the abolition of Section 28.Speaking to The Guardian Nick Boles, founder of the Policy Exchange thinktank, said that David Cameron's change of heart on gay issues was in part due to Sarah.Referring to Mr Cameron's previous support for Section 28, Mr Boles said: "I think she had a much stronger sense of how unacceptable that piece of legislation was."
Harman’s attack on Tories fuels election fever
4:15 PM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman attacked Tory attitudes to gay couples in her closing speech to the Labour party conference yesterday.In an address to the party faithful that set the tone for a general election widely tipped to be called next week, she called the Conservatives the "nasty party," a phrase first used by Tory frontbencher Theresa May.Ms Harman attacked the opposition party's plans for a tax system that rewards married couples and civil partners above single or unmarried parents.
Candidates OK with gay-themed children’s books 3
1:50 PM — Presidential hopefuls John Edwards and Barack Obama have said they would be happy for their children to read stories featuring same-sex couples.Hillary Clinton was less enthusiastic, calling it a matter for "parental discretion."The frontrunners for the Democratic party nomination for President in the 2008 election were speaking at an MSNBC candidates debate.
Trans protection may be dropped from ENDA
1:19 PM — New laws designed to protect LGBT workers in the United States may be watered down because leading Democrats are split over the inclusion of gender identity.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, currently before Congress, would extend federal employment discrimination protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.However, at a meeting on Wednesday of House of Representative Democrats, it became clear that ENDA would not be supported by many of them in its present form.
27th September 2007
US Senate passes gay hate crimes law
6:09 PM — In an historic step toward equality for LGBT Americans, the US Senate voted to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.It updates and expands the federal hate crimes laws to include bias motivated violence based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability, and provides new resources and tools to assist local law enforcement in prosecuting vicious crimes.The Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.
General says gays are immoral – again 2
5:15 PM — The most senior miltary office in the US Armed Forces has reignited the controversy about his views on gays in the military while giving evidence to a Congressional committee.Challenged by Senator Tom Harkin about his comments on the "immorality" of gay people being a reason for excluding them from miliary service, General Peter Pace reiterated that he thinks the Bible should guide policy."My upbringing tells me that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral."
Clinton fundraising catches up with Obama’s
4:50 PM — They may both support civil unions and not gay marriage, but one thing Senator Hillary Clinton and her rival for the democratic nomination, Barack Obama, don't have in common is money.Until now, he's had more, but a new report suggests that's all about to change.According to a report by Bloomberg, both Clinton and Obama are expected to bring in $20 million in campaign donations during the third quarter.
New equality commission begins work on Monday
12:40 PM — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), Britain's first new full spectrum equalities and human rights organisation, will open its doors next week.The existing commissions - Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission - will handover their responsibilities to the CEHR, which is chaired by Trevor Phillips.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill is a Commissioner of the new body.
Boris wins nomination in a landslide 3
11:25 AM — Boris Johnson has won the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London with 79% of the vote, it has been announced.The Henley MP, seen as the front runner since he announced his candidacy in July, will now face incumbent Ken Livingstone in the May 2008 election.The three other Tory hopefuls did not manage to get more than 10% of the vote each. IT consultant and publisher Andrew Boff, who is openly gay, polled 8.4%.
Civil unions not as good as marriage claim activists
11:15 AM — Last night, during the first public hearing of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, Garden State Equality presented evidence it believed shows "the failure of New Jersey's civil union law to provide equality as real marriage would."Thirty civil-unioned couples from across the state presented a joint letter to state leaders at the hearing.The couples were chosen to represent more than 300 couples who have complained to Garden State Equality.
Republicans “betrayed” by mayor’s gay marriage u-turn
11:05 AM — An editorial in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times congratulated San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for showing "impressive courage last week when he embraced the right of same-sex couples to marry."Gay rights groups were similarly effusive in their praise of the Republican ex-cop who sent shockwaves through the city and nation when he signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California's gay marriage ban.
26th September 2007
Harman: Equality is at the heart of Labour
5:45 PM — The Prime Minister made a ten-minute appearance at an event organised by Stonewall last night.It was the first time that Gordon Brown had mixed and mingled with so many LGBT activists from his own party, and he seemed relaxed during his time at the function.Absolutely Equal, supported by Barclays, was a joint event between Stonewall, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Rights on Age.
Ministers answer gay questions at Stonewall event 2
4:50 PM — The recently-appointed minister for equality and two leading gay Labour politicians faced questions from their own party activists at a conference fringe event last night.The panel discussion, entitled Equality for the next decade, was organised by the LGBT Labour group and gay equality organisation Stonewall.Chaired by out gay MEP Michael Cashman, equality minister Barbara Follett, Labour LGBT co-chair Alon Or-bach and Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill were joined by Angela Eagle.
US hate crimes law faces key vote in Senate 7
1:25 PM — Attempts by Republican Senator and Presidential hopeful John McCain to block new legislation that would extent hate crimes to cover LGBT people will come to a head tomorrow with a crucial vote.Democratic Senator Harry Reid has filed a cloture motion on the hate crimes bill, a procedural move to overcome Senator McCain's objection to bringing the amendment to the floor.60 Senators will need to vote in favour of the cloture motion for passages of the hate crimes bill to be added as an amendment to the Department of Defence (DoD) authorisation bill.
Ahmadinejad’s gay comments lost in translation 1
12:54 PM — The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has discovered that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's official website does not provide a Persian version of his recent comments on homosexuality in the country.The site provides a full and complete transcript of his speech to students at Colombia University in New York and the question and answer session afterwards in which he claimed that there are no gay people in Iran and homosexuality does not exist in the country.