17th December 2007
Westminster spa ends discrimination against gays 1
4:15 PM — A politics blog has successfully pressured a Westminster City Council spa into giving gay and lesbian couples the same discount as heterosexuals.The Porchester Spa, run by the council, was charging same-sex couples £40.70 for the use of steam rooms and baths instead of the £28.25 straight couples paid.Recess Monkey, a left-leaning political blog, said today that a journalist had informed them that this "gay tax" has been abolished.
THT campaign targets HIV risk from using poppers 3
2:50 PM — A leading sexual health charity has launched new campaign to make gay men aware of the risks of using poppers when having unprotected sex.Terrence Higgins Trust's (THT) campaign strapline: "Poppers increase the risk of HIV being passed on when fucking without condoms," highlights the fact that if you have anal sex without a condom the risk of passing on HIV is increased if you use poppers.
IDAHO looks to next May 17th
11:50 AM — The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) campaign is already being planned for 2008.Last year, the 3rd international IDAHO was marked across the UK and the world.In over 50 countries on and around May 17th 2007 events took place and there were more than 100 initiatives and events in the this country.
McKellen and Fry nominated as Great Britons
11:20 AM — The Morgan Stanley Great Briton 2007 shortlist has been revealed in the Daily Telegraph, with two gay men among the shortlist of 21.Thousands of public nominations were whittled down by a series of expert panel to leave just three names in each of the awards seven categories.Actor Sir Ian McKellen joined author JK Rowling and artist Damian Hirst on the Arts shortlist.
16th December 2007
Archbishop apologises for persecution of gays 9
1:40 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.He recently criticised Anglicans for being 'obsessed' with homosexuality.In a world exclusive interview with production company Made in Manchester, Tutu spoke to creative director Ashley Byrne.
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
Critics decide Stephen Fry’s panto is too gay
5:10 PM — The Old Vic theatre's latest production, a new version of Cinderella, by actor, TV presenter, director, novelist and national treasure Stephen Fry, has received a muted response from the critics.Writing in The Guardian, Michael Billington called his script "smart, knowing, self-referential and layered with innuendo."Fortunately it has just enough of the traditional ingredients to keep young audiences happy, though at times it's a close thing."
Gay bishop not welcome at Anglican meeting 17
4:35 PM — Bishop Gene Robinson will not be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire and in June it was reported that Dr Williams was reconsidering.However, his office confirmed today that neither Bishop Robinson nor a rogue American priest who was consecrated a bishop by the Nigerian Church, Martyn Minns, will be asked to the 14th Lambeth Conference, the assembly of Anglican bishops held once every ten years.
Clegg favourite among PinkNews.co.uk readers 1
4:20 PM — A survey of readers asking their preference to succeed Sir Ming Campbell as leader of the Liberal Democrats reveals that Nick Clegg is way out on front.82% of PinkNews.co.uk readers who took part in the poll favour the MP for Sheffield Hallam. His opponent Chris Huhne was chosen by 12% of participating readers as their choice.An estimated 65,000 Lib Dem members were sent ballot papers on November 21st, and they must be returned by tomorrow.
Leading gay arts venue loses funding 6
4:01 PM — The UK's leading producer and presenter of lesbian, gay and queer performance is to appeal against the Arts Council's decision to stop its funding from April 2008.The Drill Hall in central London, whose partons include choreographer Matthew Bourne, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes and comic Julian Clary, has a established an international reputation for championing the work of new artists, performers and theatre practitioners.
Policy Exchange stands by report into homophobic Muslim texts 17
1:40 PM — BBC news programme Newsnight has called into question the validity of a controversial report claiming that extremist texts encouraging hatred of gays, Christians and Jews are available at Britain's mosques.Researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claimed to have found such publications in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited, including London Central Mosque in Regent's Park, which is funded by Saudi Arabia.
Premier league club commits to fight homophobia 1
1:15 PM — Reading FC have pledged their support to The Football Association's campaign to ban homophobia from the terraces.The start of the 2007/08 season saw a change in football ground regulations with homophobic abuse now deemed punishable.Richard Howgill of the Gay Football Supporter's Network recently discovered that the Madejski Stadium outfit are top of the league when it comes to training their staff.
Help young homeless gays this Christmas 5
1:04 PM — Iconic out gay actor Sir Ian McKellen has teamed up with the Albert Kennedy Trust to offer a very special gift this Christmas.For its 'Safe and Sound' appeal, the Trust, who support homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, is offering supporters the opportunity to buy a gift voucher priced £18.Just £18 provides a safe shelter for an LGBT young person for one night. The vouchers are presented inside Christmas cards specially designed by Sir Ian.
Swing to Greens in Brighton excites election pundits
12:30 PM — The Green party's strong showing in the south coast city of Brighton and Hove was reflected in a by-election for a council seat , which they retained comfortably.The Regency ward was held by the Greens with a 3.5% swing away from the Tories.The significance of the result is that the ward is in the parliamentary constituency of Brighton Pavilion. In 2005 the Greens took 22% of the vote, with the Tories on 23.9% and Labour on 35.4%.
13th December 2007
Paisley and McGuinness disagree over gay rights 4
2:15 PM — The First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland are reportedly at loggerheads over the introduction of EU legislation granting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people equal rights.An agreed position on the Gender, Goods and Services Directive must be reached by December 21st or the Northern Ireland Executive faces fines and legal proceedings.A committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly was presented with a letter from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).
Spain recognises UK civil partnerships 172
12:25 PM — A gay couple who took on the British and Spanish governments over the recognition of their civil partnership have won a major victory.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.However, when the couple returned to Spain to live, they found out from the British Consul in Malaga that their civil partnership was not recognised in Spain.
Diana award for gay youth group founder 1
12:03 PM — A Stonewall volunteer has been awarded a prestigious Diana Award for his outstanding commitment to helping vulnerable young lesbians and gay men in his Kent hometown.Joe Whitbread, 18, received his award after he set up the first gay youth group in West Kent for young people to socialise and support each other in a safe environment.Having been bullied at school himself, Joe wanted to ensure that other young gay people did not suffer the same discrimination that he did.
12th December 2007
Tory MEPs disrupt Euro treaty ceremony 3
5:55 PM — EU leaders signed the Charter of Fundamental Rights today as some MEPs including Tories loudly protested, asking for a referendum on the reformed treaty.During the ceremony in Strasbourg protesters shouted as Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, was speaking."No matter how loud you heckle and yell, today is a day of fundamental importance for Europe," he said.
Runners raise money to fight homophobic bullying
12:59 PM — London Frontrunners has raised almost £3500 to support Stonewall's work tackling homophobic bullying in schools.Helen Smethurst and Graham Kennedy, presidents of capital's leading lesbian and gay running group, presented the gay charity a cheque for £3,457 to help Stonewall continue its Education for All campaigning work in schools.The money was raised by London Frontrunners through its sponsorship of the 4th London Pride Run held in August.
Help for friends and family of HIV+ people from THT
12:45 PM — HIV and sexual health charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), is running a new workshop in Sussex aimed at the friends and family of those living with HIV.The one day workshop is being trialled on 1 March in central Brighton but the charity is keen to get people signed up as soon as possible.The Friends Family workshop will act as a starting point for anyone who has found out that a friend or family member is HIV+.