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Opinion

  • 3rd January 2008

    Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5

    David Heath retained his post as Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice in the frontbench team appointed by new leader Nick Clegg.

    10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.

  • COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1

    The respected Des Moines Register's final poll shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama leading Democratic opponents, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

    10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.

  • 27th December 2007

    The 50 most powerful LGBT people in British politics 59

    Today every leading political party not only has gay MPs, those out politicians are on every frontbench.

    12:01 AM — As we look forward to another year, we cannot help but ponder the fact that if Gordon Brown had called an autumn election we could have been hearing a very different Queen's Speech last month.But if the Conservatives or even the Liberal Democrats had won the election, there would be gay people at the heart of government.The purpose of this PinkNews.co.uk Top 50 list is to demonstrate the presence of gay and lesbian people at the highest levels of British politics.

  • Profile: The most powerful gay man in British politics 55

    Spencer Livermore- the most powerful gay man in Britain?

    12:01 AM — Spencer Livermore is one of the least-recognised names on the PinkNews.co.uk Top 50, but he wields a level of influence most politicians could only dream of.As Director of Political Strategy at Number 10, he is planning the next election and the direction of the government and the Labour party next week, next month and next year.

  • 21st December 2007

    Interview: Exorcising the spirit of Section 28

    One of his most successful and famous projects was the hilarious, fast-paced, loud and proud Channel 4 series Metrosexuality.

    11:15 AM — "I'd put entertainer," Rikki Beadle-Blair says with a grin, when I ask him what he puts down as his occupation when he fills in official forms.The reason for my question is that Rikki seems to be good at everything. He wrote his first play at the age of seven and started directing at eleven.He has enjoyed success as an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, singer and songwriter; and in his spare time, if he gets any, he teaches aerobics and dance.

  • 20th December 2007

    Comment: The maverick Presidential hopefuls 2

    For one bright, shining moment last summer, LGBT political activists had a direct impact on the 2008 presidential race in a positive way.

    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.

  • 15th December 2007

    Interview: Peter Tatchell’s 40 years of campaigning 4

    Peter Tatchell began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.

    3:20 PM — Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day.The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do.

  • 14th December 2007

    Comment: Gay Hollywood. Two steps forward, two steps back

    Foster, at least, has never flatly denied that she's gay.

    12:50 PM — It was the headline that spread like a California wildfire. Queen Latifah was to marry her longtime girlfriend/personal trainer and come out publicly following promotional duties for her latest flick, The Perfect Holiday. Though admittedly sceptical, the gays rallied. Would the A-lister finally say publicly what we've known for years?To be fair, we had reason to hope. After 14 years of essentially keeping her personal life under lock and key, Jodie Foster thanked longtime partner Cydney Bernard.

  • 11th December 2007

    Interview: A rising star in the Tory firmament 11

    The first openly gay man to be elected as a Conservative MP, he is destined for a frontline role in any future Cameron administration.

    1:45 PM — The 2005 intake of MPs contained the usual mix of the good, the bad and the barmy. There were 50 new Conservative MPs, a brace of freshman Lib Dems and hardly any new Labour faces at all.The new Tory boys and girls were instrumental in propelling David Cameron (2001) into power, and he has rewarded the best and the brightest with seats in his Shadow Cabinet.Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert is one of two Nicks who first sat on the green benches two years ago to keep an eye on in the years ahead.

  • 5th December 2007

    Analysis: New law will protect parents and sperm donors 1

    The advantages of using a fertility clinic mean that the donor is registered, and cannot be legally held responsible for the child's welfare or upkeep.

    4:50 PM — The story of a 37-year-old man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple and is now being asked to pay child support highlights the complicated legal situation around children conceived by artificial methods.New legislation before Parliament aims to make it easier for lesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that a lesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.At present the law requires that NHS fertility clinics take account of the "need for a father" when assessing women for treatment.

  • Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians

    I think it just boiled down to a simple fact that voters became sick of Howard, after over a decade in office.

    10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.

  • 4th December 2007

    Interview: Irish gay rights group takes on partnerships

    The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), an organisation set up in 1988 to work for decriminalisation, is pushing for full equality.

    2:01 PM — Ireland has come a long way since decriminalising homosexuality in 1993.Last week the Republic of Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, reiterated that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships will be introduced next year.While ruling out gay marriage as unconstitutional, he did confirm that gay and straight co-habiting couples would get many spousal rights through the Civil Partnership Registration Scheme.

  • 29th November 2007

    Comment: Gay voters could hold the keys to the White House 2

    With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

    11:15 AM — If you haven't checked your calendar lately, there are exactly 418 days left in the Bush Presidency, and one of the most interesting and perhaps ground breaking elections is right around the corner.While many American voters are split on perennial election issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, education and immigration, next year's election could offer up a whole new issue that ultimately decides who the next president of the United States will be.With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

  • 26th November 2007

    Interview: Maria Eagle defends homophobic incitement law

    “People just think of us as “the Eagles.“ Sometimes I wish I had a pound for every time I get mixed up with my sister, because I'd be very rich.“

    10:00 AM — The government's proposal to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has not been met with approval by some leading gay commentators.Well-respected opinion-formers such as Times columnist Matthew Parris and Independent journalist Johann Hari have questioned the need for new laws.Parris said that the gay community does not need protection from ridicule.

  • 15th November 2007

    Interview: Clegg sets out his leadership credentials

    Nick Clegg explains why he is the heir to Ming, how to tackle homophobia in eastern Europe, and where the Lib Dems could take seats from Labour at the next election.

    1:31 PM — Since winning Sheffield Hallam in the 2005 general election, Nick Clegg has made a major impression on Liberal Democrats in Parliament and across the country.Tipped as a future leader before he even entered Westminster, in the wake of Sir Menzies Campbell's resignation he finds himself standing sooner than was imagined.Age did it for Ming, and 40-year-old Clegg is the frontrunner in the contest to replace him. Like his opponent in the leadership race, Chris Huhne, he attended the private Westminster School.

  • Comment: Evangelical has no place on equality commission 41

    Full protection against discrimination at work for gay people? Joel Edwards opposed it.

    10:35 AM — Simon Barrow of Ekklesia has a silver tongue when it comes to making excuses for the disgraceful behaviour of some of his co-religionists.Now he comes out in defence of the Evangelical Alliance and its leader Joel Edwards, who has been appointed as a commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Give him time, says Simon, let's see how he behaves. He might change. Well, I was one of those who objected to Joel Edwards' appointment and I did so after observing years of efforts by him and his organisation to retard gay rights.

  • 14th November 2007

    Comment: Keep the EHRC door open to promote change 39

    Those who serve on EHRC are going to have to acknowledge the continued existence of suspicion, prejudice and resistance.

    4:00 PM — Reactions to the news that the Rev Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, had been appointed to serve as one of the commissioners on the new Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), were swift and predictable.There was acknowledgement but little immediate comment in the religious press (many there are nervous about the news, for the opposite reason to PinkNews.co.uk readers) and annoyance and incomprehension in LGBT communities and among civil rights and secular activists.

  • 12th November 2007

    Review: Casanova the Carol Ann Duffy way

    Casanova is a woman who is imprisoned in Venice after a hilarious and acrobatic romp with a German monk.

    3:35 PM — Casanova, the famous author and bon vivant, claimed to have bedded a woman in every European city.So it is no surprise that in this modern age of sex and sleaze, he is experiencing something of a revival.First, the BBC adaptation of his life starring a geeky David Tennant; now, the play written by controversial poet Carol Ann Duffy

  • 8th November 2007

    Interview: The Lib Dem fighting youth with experience 2

    Chris Huhne, currently his party's spokesman on environment issues, has a majority of just 568 in his Hampshire seat.

    4:20 PM — Much has been made in these first few weeks of the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats about the similarities between the candidates.Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both Westminster School-educated former MEPs with near-identical views nearly all the key issues.Both became MPs as part of the Lib Dems strong showing in the 2005 elections. Both are English and will appeal to voters in key south and south east seats where the resurgent Tories are a major threat.

  • 31st October 2007

    Comment: It’s STILL Elementary

    Small but highly vocal minorities of homophobic activists continue to pressure educators in numerous areas across the country to backtrack on their progress and to abandon their LGBT-inclusive curricula.

    1:35 PM — Academy award-winning director Debra Chasnoff on teaching American schoolchildren about LGBT people. When we released our film, It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues in Schools, a decade ago, the teachers featured in the documentary were breaking new ground by finding ways to talk to their elementary and middle school students about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.The educators we found were rarities. Most teachers had never considered having such conversations.

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