25th February 2008
Interview: Gays and the United States military 3
2:45 PM — It is almost eight years since the British government moved to allow openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in our Army, Navy and Air Force.We were by no means the first. The Dutch lifted their ban in 1974, Australia followed in 1992, Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans, with one glaring exception. The United States continues to operate under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.
19th February 2008
Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU
12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).
14th February 2008
Comment: Peter Tatchell on sexing the future 1
4:10 PM — February is LGBT History Month, with hundreds of events taking place across the country to promote awareness of the contribution to society of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.In a culture that has, until recently, persecuted queers and suppressed us from public life, this reclamation of hidden LGBT history is a welcome and much needed historical correction.But history is about the past. What about the future? As we progress towards a post-homophobic society, how will this transition to understanding and acceptance affect the expression of human sexuality?
11th February 2008
Interview: The former cop who wants to run London
11:45 AM — Brian Paddick is enjoying running for Mayor of London. The Liberal Democrat candidate may be a distant third in opinion polls, but he has one distinct advantage in this race - lots of people know who he is.The 2008 Mayoral election is already the most exciting contest since the post was established at the turn of the century.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is facing a concerted (some would say co-ordinated) barrage of negative press on everything from cronyism to his alcohol intake.
17th January 2008
Feature: Searching for the true meaning of gay love 2
6:30 PM — A new play about modern gay love and relationships opens in London next week. Counterfeit Skin, by Jason Charles, explores the interplay between lovers, friends, family and rivals and in the process confronts deception, desire, greed, obsession and disappointment.Much of the drama focuses on Luke and Jake, a young couple living with Jake's gay godfather, who are questioning their long-term relationship.
14th January 2008
Comment: Canada’s ban on gay organ donation 1
1:10 PM — As Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces plans to rapidly expand the organ donation scheme in the UK by effectively making everyone a donor unless they choose to opt out, Canadian health authorities are under fire for appearing to exclude sexually active gay men.Dr Gary A Levy, one of Canada's leading transplant experts speaks out against the policy which seeks to exclude donors on the grounds of their sexual orientation. As the Medical Director of Canada's largest multi-organ transplant programme, I see people when they are at their most vulnerable.
7th January 2008
Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2
11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.
3rd January 2008
Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.