5th July 2007
Iraqi death squads use chat rooms to entrap gay men 3
5:32 PM — Two gay Iraqi men have survived kidnapping and beating by the violently homophobic Mahdi Army.The army is loyal to firebrand fundamentalist Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who is fighting to establish an Islamist dictatorship in Iraq.Two months after their ordeal, traumatised Ahmed, 23, and Zaid, 24, both students in Baghdad University, have come forward to tell how they were lured into a trap by members of the Mahdi Army.
Boris Johnson might smash gay mayoral ambitions 7
4:41 PM — The race for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London became more interesting today with the revelation that the party's Higher Education spokesman Boris Johnson is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring.If Mr Johnson, one of the most popular Tory MPs in the country, does decide to run it will end the ambitions of two gay prospective candidates.Earlier this week Nick Boles, an openly gay man, withdrew from the race to undergo treatment for cancer.
Analysis: Homophobia rampant in British schools 1
2:22 PM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment. That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.
Government committed to stamping out gay bullying 1
1:12 PM — The newly-appointed minister for Children, Kevin Brennan, has committed the government to working with Stonewall to eradicate homophobic bullying from British schools.Speaking at the gay equality organisation's Education for All conference in London, Mr Brennan said the new Department for Children, Schools and Families would focus on the security, well being and success of children in all aspects of their life, not just academic achievement, and that stopping bullying in all forms was a key part of that mission.
Minister slams casual homophobia of DJs like Chris Moyles 8
12:44 PM — Kevin Brennan, the new Minister for Children, told an audience of education professionals and activists in London today that homophobic language used on TVand radio is unacceptable.Speaking at the Stonewall Education for All conference, the minister said that the perception that the use of words like 'poof' or 'gay' is 'just a bit of harmless banter' contributes to homophobic bullying in schools.
Harman and Follett emerge as ‘part time’ Ministers for Equality
12:01 PM — After much confusion, Harriet Harman has emerged as Minister for Women and Equality. Initially it was believed that the role would be combined with that of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as it was with Ruth Kelly.Hazel Blears, who was appointed as the Secretary of State for Communities, was thought to be keen to play a role in Equality.Barbara Follett is Junior Minister for Women and Equality.
Mayor demands robotic toilets to stop cruising 1
12:01 PM — The mayor of the Florida city of Fort Lauderdale wants a robotic toilet that could prevent homosexual activity that he says haunts public restrooms on beach.Mayor Jim Naugle believes that robotic toilets will scare off gay cruisers.Mr Naugle told Sun-Sentinel: "We're trying to provide a family environment where people can take their children who need to use the bathroom."
4th July 2007
Who exactly is the minister for gay rights? 1
5:00 PM — There is confusion as to which member of the Brown government will be taking responsibility for women and equality issues.The appointment of Harriet Harman as Minister for Women last week seemed to indicate that she would be in charge of gay rights and other issues that fall under the remit of the Women and Equality Unit.However, the unit is part of the Department of Communities and Local Government, headed by Hazel Blears.
Lib Dems appoint new equality spokesperson
12:55 PM — Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell has appointed Jo Swinson as the party's spokesperson on women and equality issues.Ms Swinson, 27, is the youngest MP in the Commons, referred to as the Baby of the House. She was previously the party's Scotland spokesperson.The party's former spokesperson on women and equality issues, which includes gay rights, was Lorely Burt.
3rd July 2007
MEP receives award for moral courage
12:54 PM — The Pride Parade in Berlin took place last week and for the seventh time, the organisers recognised moral courage of individuals and organisations with the "Zivilcourage-Preis" (the Civil Courage Award.)Among those honoured was a German member of the European Parliament, Lissy Gröner.The Social Democrat is a vocal advocate for gay, lesbian and female rights and was first elected into the EU Parliament in 1989.
Gay candidate for Mayor of London withdraws from race
12:21 PM — Nick Boles, a Conservative seeking his party's nomination to run against Ken Livingstone in next year's election for Mayor of London has withdrawn from the race.The 42-year-old has been diagnosed with cancer and is pulling out to undergo treatment.Mr Boles, who is openly gay, was a parliamentary candidate in the 2005 election. He came within 500 votes of winning Hove.
Homophobia on the rise in Scottish schools
11:20 AM — 70% of young gays and lesbians in Scottish schools have also revealed their feelings towards they unsafe environment they have to endure on a daily basis.Scottish schools are realising that bullying is a issue among young people and represents a living hell for most.Homophobia can be directed towards its victim in many ways and can be extremely damaging whether it is physical, emotional or verbal, between young people.
2nd July 2007
Cameron appoints two gay men to shadow Cabinet 3
6:05 PM — Nick Herbert, the MP for Arundel and South Downs and one of only a handful of openly gay Tory MPs, has been promoted to the shadow Cabinet by David Cameron as part of a reshuffle.Mr Herbert only became an MP in 2005 and is seen as a rising star. He was the first ever out gay man elected as a Tory MP. Fellow openly gay MP, Alan Duncan was reappointed to the shadow Cabinet.Francis Maude, who spoke exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the death of his brother from AIDS, has been moved from the key role of Party Chairman.
Moscow Pride 2008 organisers invite Mayor of London
5:37 PM — Nicolas Alexeyev has welcomed comments from Mayor of London Ken Livingstone indicating he might be willing to attend next year's Moscow Pride.The Russian gay rights activist was one of the principal organisers of this year's banned gay rights march in Moscow.In an exclusive interview with PinkNews.co.uk to mark London Pride, Mr Livingstone said he would consider attending Moscow Pride in 2008, if it does not clash with his campaign to for re-election.
Anglicans tell Paisley to apologise or resign over gay comments 27
5:05 PM — The newspaper of the Anglican Church in Ireland has launched a scathing attack on Ian Paisley Jnr over his recent homophobic outburst.The junior minister in the Northern Ireland government and member of the DUP has been under attack for accusing gay and lesbian people of harming society with their "repulsive" sexuality.Mr Paisley has refused to back down from his comments.
London Pride plays host to new Labour Deputy Leader 6
3:18 PM — Harriet Harman rounded off the most exceptional month of her political career with a powerful address to London's gay community on Saturday.Speaking in Trafalgar Square to a crowd of tens of thousands of LGBT people and their supporters, the newly-elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party welcomed the appointment of an openly lesbian MP to a ministerial role and pledged herself to continuing the fight for equality.
Two words and a comma would enshrine gay rights 2
12:40 PM — Human rights activists in Bermuda have launched a campaign to add sexual orientation as a protected grounds of discrimination under the country's Human Rights Act.They want to insert an amendment to the Act, which advocates say amounts to not much more than two words and a comma.A group describing themselves as 'concerned citizens' has now launched a campaign to include sexual orientation in the legislation.
Swedes accuse Finnish army of ‘anti-gay bias’
12:08 PM — A gay rights organisation has accused the Finnish Defence Forces of acting in a discrimatory and insulting way towards Swedish gay soldiers.HOF, which promotes the rights of gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals in the Swedish military, says that the attitude of the Finns makes it difficult for LGBT soldiers to take part in joint operations.Sweden still practices conscription and there has been debate in the country over the rights of gay people in the military.
Australia urged to stop gay discrimination
11:15 AM — New York based advocacy group Human Rights Watch have urged the Australian government to amend legal provisions that exclude same-sex partners from the definition of 'spouse.'HRC also called for an end all discrimination against lesbian and gay people's children and families.Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report was presented to the federal parliament listing the 58 laws that need to be changed to grant gay, bisexual and lesbian Australians equal rights.
1st July 2007
Irish president warns of link between anti-gay bullying and suicide 2
5:10 PM — Irish President Mary McAleese today called for a national change in attitudes to end the bullying of gay people in Ireland.Addressing world experts at the International Association of Suicide Prevention Conference in Killarney, the President said the link between sexual identity and suicide had to be addressed.She also warned gay people encounter a hurtful undercurrent of bias and hostility.