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UK

  • 19th October 2007

    ITV to pay back millions from phone competitions

    ITV has announced £7.8m is available for reimbursements. Any money not reclaimed will be donated to charity.

    4:33 PM — ITV is to reimburse up to eight million voters who took part in phone competitions that they had no chance of winning.Company chairman Michael Grade called the scandal, which took place under former chief executive Charles Allen, "horrible" and "inexcusable."In 2006 Mr Allen was named the UK's 16th most influential gay and lesbian person by The Independent.

  • Policeman fined for homophobic remarks 6

    O'Kane was suspended from work following the incident.

    3:40 PM — A officer from Cleveland Police has been found guilty of making homophobic and racist remarks.At Teesside Magistrates' Court on Wednesday PC Peter O'Kane, of Queens Drive, Billingham was fined £600 and £950 costs after he was convicted of two public order offences, reports the Newcastle Evening Gazette. 25-year-old Mr O'Kane was overheard making the remarks on December 28th while out with a group of friends at the Oak Pub, in Middlesbrough, which has a predominantly gay clientele.

  • Train crash driver had HIV test

    Slough Coroner's Court heard yesterday from the only witness to the crash, PC Mark Brazier.

    12:55 PM — An inquest into a fatal collision heard how a closeted gay man killed when his car hit a passenger train was "tormented" had taken an HIV test the previous day.Bryan Drysdale, a 48 year old year chef, was inside a Mazda which hit the Paddington to Plymouth train at 100mph near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, in November 2004.It resulted in seven deaths and 138 injuries, 18 seriously, when the impact turned the carriages of the train and made it slide down an embankment.

  • Landlord prosecuted over homophobic pub sign 2

    New landlord Adrian Taylor, 54, has been fined £500 by magistrates.

    12:29 PM — The landlord of a Wiltshire pub who allowed a homophobic sign to be displayed outside his premises has been found guilty of public order offence at Chippenham Magistrates Court.The pub's former landlords John Williams, 40, and his 26-year-old partner Lee Skaife believed the sign, which read 'faggots and mince not on the menu,' referred to them. They made a formal complaint to police.Mr Williams and Mr Skaife left the Anchor and Hope pub in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in September 2006 after 15 months at the helm.

  • Coach found guilty of sexual abuse of 13-year-old pupil

    The girl in question, now 15, told the jury that she felt “threatened“ into having a lesbian relationship with her tennis coach.

    10:15 AM — A former tennis protege turned coach has been convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child a Liverpool Crown Court.Claire Lyte, 29, from Solihull, is expected to receive a custodial sentence.During her three week trial, the court heard testimony from the mother of a 13-year-old girl, who caught them in bed together in 2005.

  • 18th October 2007

    Interview: The ever-controversial Mr Phillips 1

    “We are no longer in a time when it is OK and accepted that you should be quiet about your sexual orientation. We've seen how grotesque that can be.“

    10:30 PM — Trevor Phillips meets me in an office he has just moved into. The L-shaped sofa came from his own home; his framed Martin Luther King montage sits on the floor waiting to be hung. A small silver bust of Lenin on his desk catches my eye.The new public body of which he is chairman, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, only came into being a few days before we met.Phillips' office, at the end of an open-plan room, has a fine view of London's City Hall.

  • Commons debates homophobic bullying in schools

    The minister said that the guidance on homophobic bullying the department issued has been well-received.

    3:55 PM — MPs from all parties contributed to a debate in the House of Commons yesterday that extensively discussed homophobic bullying.Schools minister Kevin Brennan opened the debate, pointing to the new guidelines introduced last month as positive evidence of the government's commitment to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual children.Tory MP John Bercow welcomed the government guidance on homophobic bullying, but said they were particularly needed in faith schools.

  • No Kylie statue for at least a decade say council

    It seems that Old Compton Street will have to wait until at least 2017 before a Kylie statue can even be considered.

    3:31 PM — A tabloid news story that a group of gay men have applied for planning permission to erect a statue of pop singer Kylie Minogue in a London street is news to Westminster City Council.The Daily Star this morning ran the story "Kylie Gets A Gay Statue," which reported that "Kylie Minogue's loyal team of homosexuals" have applied for planning permission to have a statue of the singer erected in Old Compton St.A spokesman for Westminster council told PinkNews.co.uk: "We have received no record of this planning application."

  • Trader suggests memorial toilet for cruising playwright

    Islington Council deputy leader Terry Stacy rejected the idea of a blue plaque but admitted that more public toilets were needed.

    2:10 PM — Demand for new public toilets in the London Borough of Islington has been highlighted by a local trader who is suggesting they be dedicated in memory of famous resident Joe Orton.The gay playwright, who was murdered by his lover at the height of his fame in 1967, famously used to cruise for sex in public toilets all over Islington.The Angel area has a high concentration of bars and restaurants and a paucity of public facilities.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Firefighters not at LGBT conference 1

    The fact that the firefighters appeared to have disturbed men having sex sparked a tabloid frenzy.

    1:30 PM — A group of firefighters who were the subject of tabloid news reports about a Bristol cruising ground did not attend a national conference tackling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the fire and rescue service as originally planned.The firefighters hit the headlines earlier this month when it was reported that they had been disciplined for "disturbing" men cruising.In fact they were punished for being away from their station for no operational reason.

  • Interview: Stella Duffy excited about lesbian festival

    “The York Lesbian Arts Festival is fantastic!“ enthuses patron Stella Duffy.

    11:54 AM — "The York Lesbian Arts Festival is fantastic!" enthuses patron Stella Duffy, whose popular novels include Calendar Girls, which recently came 5th in the International Big Gay Read Poll."I've been every year and it's a hell of an event. All the well-known dyke writers turn up, and it gets a little over the top."Taxi drivers in York know it's us by now, and it's mostly dykes that come to the festival."

  • Charity aims to tackle needs of black gay men 1

    Black men who have sex with men are more likely to have sex which could result in HIV transmission.

    10:03 AM — Gay Men Fighting AIDS has been awarded a grant by the Big Lottery Fund for their work around peer education projects and deliver health promotion initiatives to the black gay community in London.Sigma Research data from December 2005 found that black gay men are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV compared to other ethnic groups in the UK - 11.1% compared to 6.4% white British gay men - or have a partner with HIV.

  • 17th October 2007

    Clegg gathers support in Lib Dem leadership contest

    Mr Clegg, 40, has already got the support of nearly half of the present Lib Dem frontbench team,

    8:49 PM — The race to succeed Sir Menzies Campbell as leader of the Liberal Democrats gathered pace today as Chris Huhne launched his campaign.As several potential leadership candidates today announced they would not be standing it looks increasing likely that the Nick Clegg will be the only other challenger for the leadership.He is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow.

  • Canadian soldiers jailed for Amsterdam attack 1

    Eric Wright and Ryan Dowie, both 22 at the time of the incident last May, received custodial sentences for the attack

    4:44 PM — Two Canadian soldiers stationed in Holland ahead of a deployment in Afghanistan have been convicted of beating up a gay man in Amsterdam.Eric Wright and Ryan Dowie, both 22 at the time of the attack last May, received custodial sentences for the attack, which left their 28-year-old victim with a skull fracture and broken nose.The soldiers convinced the court that they called their victim a "fag" and "gay" because he was a civilian wearing dog tags.

  • Gay mayoral candidate may get help from David Furnish

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Paddick was the UK's most senior gay police officer until he left the Metropolitan police force at the end of May.

    2:01 PM — Former senior police officer Brian Paddick, who is widely expected to win the Liberal Democrat nomination for Mayor of London, may receive fundraising help from a well-known celebrity.The Independent reports that the partner of singer Sir Elton John, David Furnish, is keen to help Mr Paddick, who is gay, raise campaign funds ahead of the mayoral elections in May 2008.The results of a ballot of Lib Dem members in London to choose their candidate will be announced next month.

  • Man who came out at 91 publishes gay novel

    The novel's main protagonist is Mark Harper.

    11:32 AM — A former Oxford academic has become one of the oldest first time authors ever with a dashing gay romance called The Heart Entrapped. Mike Soper, 93, is feeling the liberation of life outside the closet after decades of pretending, and his new book draws on his experiences of love outside the law.He told the Oxford Mail:"I had to keep quiet about my sexuality when I was lecturing at Oxford, as undergraduates would not have been very kind if they had known I was gay."

  • Christian banned from library after campaign against gay staff 4

    Previously Mr Fairclough had left anti-gay messages on the Leigh library noticeboard. photo: IRRI images@flickr.com

    11:12 AM — A man described as a "devout Christian" has been arrested after a series of incidents of homophobia at a public library in Greater Manchester.58-year-old Joe Fairclough was arrested and detained by officers under a public order offence, but later released without charge.A police spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: "The library customer's behaviour was unacceptable."

  • No resignations over gay personnel says Navy 11

    Commander Graham Beard, speaking on behalf of the Royal Navy, said he had seen no evidence of staff resignations over the issue of gay personnel.

    10:10 AM — The Royal Navy's equality and diversity officer has said there is no evidence that anyone left the service in protest at gay men and lesbians being allowed to serve openly.In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the Armed Forces.A document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act appeared to shed light on the worries some military personnel had.

  • 16th October 2007

    Two month contest for Lib Dem leadership

    Environment spokesman Chris Huhne is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow, while Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg has said he will consult with his wife and other before making a decision.

    6:50 PM — The Liberal Democrat party, still reeling from the shock resignation of its leader Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday, will hold a two month race to replace him.As expected, the party's President Simon Hughes, who came out as bisexual during the previous leadership race in February 2006, has ruled himself out as a candidate this time.Sir Ming resigned yesterday with immediate effect without speaking to the press.

  • Homophobic church hit by pro-gay vandals 1

    IRA and Sinn Fein was written on the whitewashed cement of the 50-year-old church. “Gays have a life too” was also plastered across the walls.

    5:25 PM — Sectarian and pro-gay graffiti has been daubed on a Free Presbyterian church on the outskirts of Belfast.Walls and gates at the Dunmurry church were smeared with pro-Republican slogans and the Nazi swastika in an overnight attack, broadcaster UTV has reported.The incident followed comments about homosexuals on television last night by Free Presbyterian cleric the Rev David McIlveen.

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