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UK

  • 12th February 2008

    Rugby star Cohen backs gay players

    Cohen, 29, has a following in the gay community and has appeared at events in gay venues. photo: ben-cohen.com

    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

    Final decisions on the content of the 2011 Census will not be made until the consultation and testing programme is complete and Parliament gives formal approval in 2010.

    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

    During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner.  photo: frazzledjen@flickr.com

    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

    The Synod, the Church of England's parliament, was addressed by Dr Rowan Williams this afternoon.

    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

    After a funeral service on Saturday the Pole's body was returned to his home town of Dzialdowo.

    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

    The posters will appear on billboards for two weeks from today.

    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

    The first gay rugby Union Cup took place in 2005 in Montpellier, France.

    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

    “Faced with a ballot paper with Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson staring up at them, I think people will hesitate.“

    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.

  • 10th February 2008

    Williams under continued pressure over Sharia law speech 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    10:30 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to defend himself following his comments on Sharia law during his address to the Church of England General Synod in London tomorrow.Since saying that the adoption of elements of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable", he has been under attack from all sides. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey wrote in the News of the World: "He has in my opinion overstated the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes."

  • 9th February 2008

    Homophobia within police force soars 13

    Complaints within the force have risen year on year

    3:18 PM — Complaints about homophobia within the police force have risen by almost a quarter in the past year according to the Gay Police Association.The association received 350 calls in 2007, 90 more than in 2006. However, it is estimated that 7,000 homophobic incidents each year are not reported. Chairman of the Gay Police Association Paul Cahill said: "We've had some officers refusing to work with gay officers but also slightly more sinister expressions of homophobia.

  • Archbishop denies he called for Sharia law 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    12:19 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has denied that he called for the introduction ofSharia Law.In a statement he said that he "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".He said that he was "exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience".

  • Pizza Hut runs out of pizza if you’re gay or transexual, group claims 3

    Pizza Hut say that they did not discriminate

    12:18 PM — A group of gay men out with their transsexual friends were told that Pizza Hut had run out of Pizza, in order to avoid serving them it has been claimed.The group, some of them wearing high heels asked for a table in a branch of the chain in Church Street, Blackpool. Michael Kemp, 48, who was wearing a miniskirt claimed: "When we arrived at the Pizza Hut, we noticed people were staring at us and laughing.

  • 8th February 2008

    Radio 4 presenter cleared of rape 8

    Nigel Wrench was cleared of all charges.

    4:20 PM — BBC Radio 4 presenter Nigel Wrench was today cleared by a court of raping a man that he met at a New Years Eve party.He was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting the 26-year-old after inviting him back to his flat in north London after meeting him at a New Years party. The presenter of Radio 4's PM programme admitted snorting cocaine with the man at a Kennigton party before taking him home to view his art collection.

  • Stonewall ready for Commons battle over gay parents 20

    Christian MPs have raised objections to new rights for gay and lesbian parents.

    12:30 PM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has said that new legislation before Parliament that will grant new rights to gay and lesbian parents will face further attempts to wreck it in the Commons.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill proposes new recognition of same-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos.The Bill was passed by the Lords on Monday and now goes to the House of Commons.

  • Gay couple victims of intimidation campaign 3

    The couple, one of whom is disabled, have been the victims of an intimidation campaign by locals in the Creggan area of the city.

    12:03 PM — In scenes reminiscent of Northern Ireland's sectarian past, a gay couple in the city of Londonderry have spoken out after a gang threatened to burn them out of their home.The couple, one of whom is disabled, have been the victims of an intimidation campaign by locals in the Creggan area of the city.Last month at Derry MP spoke out after an arson attack on the home of a gay couple in his constituency.

  • Christian magistrate loses gay adoption appeal 2

    Mr McClintock resigned from the South Yorkshire Courts Panel after being informed he would not be allowed to opt-out of cases that he felt would conflict with his religious views.

    11:45 AM — A former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on has had a second appeal rejected.He announced yesterday that following the decision of the Court of Appeal the issue "will not be debated further."In March 2007 Andrew McClintock's legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions, was rejected by a Sheffield employment tribunal.

  • London Mayor candidate rejects Sharia law proposal

    Mr Paddick faces incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone, the Labour candidate, and Tory MP Boris Johnson in the election for Mayor of London on May 1st.

    11:25 AM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick, has criticised the head of the Anglican communion for arguing that aspects of Sharia law should be recognised in Britain.Speaking on LBC radio this morning, Mr Paddick also revealed a new policy on bus fares and revealed that he did not recognise one of the Hollywood stars at his celebrity fundraising dinner.Politicians from all parties have criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury for remarks yesterday suggesting that certain aspects of Islamic law could be adopted in the UK.

  • Tatchell criticises ban on Islamic scholar

    Tatchell says that the British government's decision to ban Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering Britain to receive medical treatment is “illiberal, unwarranted and unmerciful.“

    11:02 AM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said that the British government's decision to ban Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering Britain to receive medical treatment is "illiberal, unwarranted and unmerciful."The spiritual leader of Islamicist organisation the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr Qaradawi is known to have supported suicide bombings in Israel, the oppression of women's rights and has argued in the past that homosexuals should be put to death.

  • Bishop must pay £47,000 compensation to gay man 6

    Mr Reaney was interviewed by a panel of eight people for the post of Youth Officer in the Diocese of Hereford in summer 2006.

    10:15 AM — An employment tribunal has ruled that the Bishop of Hereford must pay £47,345 in compensation to John Reaney, the gay man who brought a claim of discrimination claim against him.The case was supported and funded by Stonewall.Mr Reaney was interviewed by a panel of eight people for the post of Youth Officer in the Diocese of Hereford in summer 2006.

  • 7th February 2008

    Homophobic Islamic cleric to be extradited to US 5

    US authorities want to put Hamza on trial for allegedly running a terrorist “training camp“ in Oregon between 1998 and 2000.

    7:50 PM — Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is be extradited to the United States to face terrorist charges, the Home Secretary has announced.In 2006 he was convicted and jailed for seven years by a British court on charges of inciting murder and race hate.His numerous lectures and sermons targeted homosexual vicars, the tourist industry, the Royal Family and women in bikinis.

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