17th March 2008
Poll shows Boris ahead in race for Mayor of London
5:30 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London is well ahead of his two main rivals, according to polling carried out for the Evening Standard newspaper.The online poll of 1,005 Londoners was conducted by YouGov. 49% said they would vote for Boris Johnson, 37% for incumbent Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone and 12% for Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick.17% said they had not yet decided who to vote for. The Mayor of London is elected by the Supplementary Vote (SV) system, where voters may choose a first and second choice candidate.
Feeling singer says pop stars should follow him out of the closet
4:45 PM — The Feeling's frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has urged more pop stars to come out.In an interview to publicise the Feeling's upcoming album, Join With Us, he told the Daily Record:"The world would be a healthier place if people were more honest about their sexuality and the entertainment industry would be healthier if people were more honest full stop.
Activists and politicians launch IDAHO in London
3:55 PM — Government ministers, candidates for Mayor of London and more than 100 LGBT activists from across the world came together at the University of the Arts in London last week for the UK launch of the International Day Against Homophobia.Students on the Design for Graphic Communication course at the University of Arts designed double sided broadsheet posters to encourage UK campaigners to arrange events for the IDAHO on May 17th, and the winning posters were displayed at the event.IDAHO founder Louis-Georges Tin was in attendance.
London’s festival of lesbian and gay cinema
1:35 PM — The 22nd BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival starts on March 22nd 2008.The annual event showcases a wide selection of LGBT-themed films and has grown in popularity in recent years. This year the opening Night Gala Screening film is Love and Other Disasters and will be shown at the Odeon West End.Described as a sharper, gayer version of Love Actually, the romantic comedy features performances from Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys and Catherine Tate.
Complaints about gay billboard ads rejected 12
11:04 AM — The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that an ad campaign by gay equality organisation Stonewall did not breach their code.The "Some people are gay - get over it!" posters were displayed on 600 billboards across the Britain last month.Of the 54 complaints received by the ASA, seven claimed the ad was inappropriate for display where it could be seen by children and five objected that the ad was particularly offensive to Christian and other religious groups.
14th March 2008
CPS want Royal blackmail trial in private 25
5:20 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service has requested that the trial of two men charged with attempting to blackmail a member of the Royal Family be held without the public being allowed into court.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.They were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.
Homophobic bishop branded un-Christian by MSP 53
4:25 PM — A Labour member of the Scottish Parliament has echoed comments from gay equality organisation Stonewall and branded the Bishop of Motherwell as un-Christian.George Foulkes MSP tabled a motion condemning Bishop Joseph Devine's comments that gay people attend Holocaust memorial events in order to "create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution" as "unfortunate, outdated and un-Christian."Gay equality organisation Stonewall also criticised the Roman Catholic leader.
PM says Mandelson will only serve one term
3:15 PM — The Prime Minister has quashed speculation that he may re-appoint former Labour Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson as a European Commissioner.Arriving at a European summit last night, Gordon Brown told reporters that Mr Mandelson would only serve one term."Peter Mandelson said he doesn't want to become the next commissioner," he said. "I think it is important to say that Peter Mandelson has done a great job as commissioner and, of course, it is his wish to do something else."
Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7
2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.
Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16
2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.
New rules on HIV prosecutions released 4
1:10 PM — New guidelines on how prosecutors should deal with cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of STIs have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.The CPS has devised a public policy and guidance statement that covers the Code for Crown Prosecutors and how it should be implemented in all cases.The guide also outlines offences the CPS will consider in relation to cases of the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection.
Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53
12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."
13th March 2008
Gay Iranian teen’s case will be reviewed says Home Office 21
3:02 PM — An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:"Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."
Lords try to stop gay teenager’s deportation 21
2:30 PM — Senior peers, including former Speaker of the Commons Betty Boothroyd and former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, have asked the government not to deport a gay teenager back to his home country of Iran.More than 60 members of the House of Lords signed a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging the government to "show compassion" to Mehdi Kazemi, who fears he will be executed for homosexual acts if he is returned.
Bigot bishop’s comments raised in parliament 53
1:20 PM — The Bishop of Motherwell's recent outburst about gay people and the Holocaust could be debated in the Scottish Parliament.Patrick Harvie, the Green party MSP for Glasgow Region, was so incensed by the bishop's comments that he has tabled a motion condemning his comments.Bishop Joseph Devine, speaking at an event on Tuesday, accused the gay community of "aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever present at the service each year for the Holocaust memorial, as if to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."
Charity calls for HPV vaccines for boys
1:10 PM — The UK's leading dental charity is appealing to the government to include males in a planned vaccination programme to guard against the sexually transmitted HPV virus.The British Dental Health Foundation's appeal was in response to a new large scale US study of 46,000 mouth cancer cases.It found that the number of deaths caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus has increased by a third over the last 30 years and is now the highest it has ever been.
Bishop claims gays use the Holocaust to get “sympathy” 53
12:20 PM — The Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell has claimed that the "gay lobby" attends Holocaust memorials "to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."The Right Reverend Joseph Devine was giving a lecture entitled Sectarianism and Secularism: Bugbears for the Catholic Church in Scotland on Tuesday night when he made his comments.The bishop said there is a "giant conspiracy" going on and claimed he is taking on the forces of secularism.
Brighton and Manchester Pride want you
11:50 AM — Two major gay celebrations in England are inviting people to get involved.Pride in Brighton and Hove is holding an open meeting for anyone who is interested in joining the parade, applying for a grant or having a stall at this summer's event.Manchester Pride, celebrating its 18th year, is urging people who wish to take part in 2008 to submit applications as soon as possible.
12th March 2008
Tory MP hostile to gay rights is sacked from party 3
5:50 PM — A Conservative MP who has attempted to fight gay rights laws is at the centre of a bizarre series of events in the Commons today.Bob Spink has had the whip withdrawn after threatening the Chief Whip with resignation. He accused the party of not doing enough to stop him from being deselected from his Castle Point seat.Since entering the Commons in 1992 Mr Spink has consistently opposed gay rights.
G-A-Y venue cannot be saved says Ken
4:30 PM — A report from the Mayor of London released today has confirmed that London venue The Astoria will close as part of a redevelopment of the Tottenham Court Road area.The Astoria is best known as a live music venue and the home of popular club night G-A-Y.Despite protests from famous musicians and petitions signed by tens of thousands of people, the building will be pulled down as part of the construction of the new Crossrail project.