15th February 2008
Lib Dems win Grell council seat
10:41 AM — The Liberal Democrats have won a seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council vacated by a Labour politician convicted of smearing one of her gay opponents.Winnie Smith took back the seat for the Lib Dems yesterday in a by-election in Leyton.She won 1360 votes. Khevyn Limbajee for Labour won 695. In September former councillor Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.
14th February 2008
ONS explains thinking on gay census question 5
6:15 PM — The Office for National Statistics has spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about why it does not propose to ask a question about sexual orientation in the 2011 Census.Earlier this week gay equality organisation Stonewall joined forces with the Trades Union Congress to press for the inclusion of such a question.A spokesman for the ONS told PinkNews.co.uk that they do not propose to ask a question in 2011 as they consider that there are better ways to collect "timely and reliable" sexual identity information.
Government funds gay sauna training scheme
5:35 PM — The Department of Health is funding a new "code of good practice" scheme for gay saunas and other venues where sex between men occurs.Play Zone: Code of Conduct has been developed by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust as part of the national HIV prevention programme."The Department of Health gave £20,000 of funding," a THT spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk.
London mayor candidate backs Page 3 girls 1
5:30 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has told The Sun that the pictures of topless women on published on page three of the paper "shows that you don't need to be stick-thin to be attractive."Brian Paddick also said that if elected he may withdraw millions of pounds worth of funding from London Fashion Week in protest at the use of "size zero" models.He told the paper: "Sun girls are proof you can be curvy and gorgeous, unlike the stick-insects you see on the catwalk."
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?
England vs Scotland in gay football match
2:02 PM — The first LGBT football team north of the border are to take on London's Leftfooters FC this Sunday, the first time gay teams from England and Scotland have clashed.HotScots FC was founded last year with the aim of organising socials and regular kick-abouts and to provide a social outlet for LGBT people who wish to watch and participate in football with other like-minded people.The club now boasts more than 75 members and hold kickabouts every Thursday and Sunday.
13th February 2008
Rainbow flag flies over police headquarters
5:15 PM — A police force named as the best employer for gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Scotland is celebrating LGBT History Month by flying the rainbow flag.The public display of support at Lothian and Borders Police headquarters in Edinburgh has been welcomed by gay rights organisation Stonewall, who compile the list of top employers.However, not everyone was pleased.
Census question is about sexuality not sex 5
4:50 PM — A proposal to include a question on sexuality in the next UK-wide census has been backed by trade unionists and the Green party, but caused confusion among some people.A senior researcher who is an expert on LGBT issues told PinkNews.co.uk that any question must focus on sexual identity and not orientation.The academic, who asked not to be named, explained: "Some have put forward the argument that such a question involved someone's private sexual behaviour.
Heavy metal star encourages fans to come out
3:00 PM — The lead singer of legendary British heavy metal band Judas Priest has spoken about being a role model to his gay fans.Rob Halford came out in 1998 in an interview with MTV. The band, nicknamed "Metal Gods," have sold more than 35 million albums.Halford left Judas Priest in 1993 after 20 years, but rejoined in 2003.He said coming out was like "freeing yourself" and said that his action had helped other metal fans to do the same.
Brighton walk will raise money for Stonewall
11:01 AM — Gay and lesbian people and their friends have been signing up for a major gay day out in Brighton during the May bank holiday.The 5th Annual Equality Walk is a demonstration of solidarity against hate crime, a nice day out, a good bit of exercise and an opportunity to do a bit of star-spotting.The 10km stroll begins at the Pavilion Gardens at 2pm on Sunday May 4th.
Academics to discuss gay identites in eastern Europe
10:50 AM — A conference to be held in London is to examine the emergence of LGBT identities in central and eastern Europe.School of Slavonic and East European Studies at Universtiy College London is to hold a one-day conference on Friday 11th April.Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 new gay communities have emerged in many countries, and led to social and political unrest regarding their rights and visibility.
12th February 2008
New gay travel portal launched
2:10 PM — A new online travel information and social networking portal launches this week with the aim of becoming the largest database of destinations, venues and events specifically designed for the gay and lesbian community.gaypedia.com provides top five destinations, venues and events; review, rating and blogging capabilities alongside member profiling and social networking tools.It is a user-generated and editorially produced travel information website that allows gays and lesbians to search for venues.
Rugby star Cohen backs gay players
1:10 PM — England rugby union player Ben Cohen has spoken out about the absence of any openly gay players in the sport.Cohen, 29, who has a following in the gay community and has appeared at events in gay venues, last year moved to French club Brive after 11 years at Northampton Saints.Speaking to OutSports.com the winger said that in his opinion it "would be fine" for a rugby player to come out as gay.
Unions demand gay question on 2011 census 25
12:20 PM — The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Brendan Barber has joined with gay equality organisation Stonewall's chief executive Ben Summerskill to ask for questions on sexual orientation to form part of the census.The next national survey will take place in 2011.It is conducted every 10 years by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), who announced last year that they did not think a question about sexual orientation would not be suitable.
11th February 2008
Swedish lesbians have a legal right to puppies
5:06 PM — An unusual case of discrimination in Sweden has led to a court ruling in favour of a women turned away from buying a puppy because she is a lesbian.The Local reports that the court of appeal in Stockholm confirmed that a kennel owner must pay 20,000 kronor (£1,580) for discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner. The owner then refused to sell the puppy to her.
Archbishop unerpentant over Sharia comments 5
4:15 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the General Synod of the Church of England that he accepts responsibility for confusion about his comments on Islamic law in the UK.But he added that is was right of him to raise the concerns of faith communities and some of his remarks had been misinterpreted."Some of what has been heard is a very long way indeed from what was actually said," he told Synod members gathered in London for a pre-planned meeting.
Civil partnership ends in tragic death
2:40 PM — A Scottish man has spoken of his feelings of guilt after his new civil partner died just a fortnight after the ceremony.65-year-old Norman Drew, a catering worker from Inverness, said he was shocked by the sudden death of 24-year-old Karol Szymaniak, reports the Press and Journal.On Friday 1st February he left Mr Szymaniak to go to work. When he returned he found his Polish partner having a epileptic fit.
Gay adverts to be displayed across Britain 4
1:10 PM — For the next two weeks people across the country will be confronted with a positive message about gay people from 600 billboards.The advertising space in England, Scotland and Wales has been donated to gay equality organisation Stonewall by Titan Outdoor Advertising Ltd.The message - 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' - will be displayed in giant, tabloid-style capital letters, on a bright red background.
Gay rugby tournament comes to London
12:10 PM — One of the UK's leading gay rugby union teams are celebrating after it was announced that they will host next year's European tournament.London's Kings Cross Steelers will be defending their title as 2007 European Champions, which they won in Copenhagen last year.The 2009 tournament's host venue will be West Ham FC's home ground.Rugby teams from across Europe will compete for the biennial championship title between May 22nd and 23rd next year.
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.